• PizzaMarketplace launches petition drive to support anti-obesity lawsuit legislation

Dear Pizza Operators:

The foodservice industry rejoiced last summer when a New York judge threw out a lawsuit in which McDonald's Corp. was charged for making its customers obese. As the judge's ruling made clear, the plaintiffs had a weak case to begin with and an even lesser chance of proving the hamburger giant was responsible for their weight-related problems.

Despite the ruling, a growing number of trial lawyers insist that this lawsuit won't be the last, and that it's only a matter of time before restaurant companies--particularly those in the quick-service segment--will lose those court cases and be forced to pay settlements.

Some in the pizza business have told me they believe their company's turn in court is inevitable, and that these lawyers--many of whom sued tobacco companies for billions of dollars over product liability issues--could cost pizza and other restaurant chains millions in legal fees alone.

PizzaMarketplace believes this is an abuse of the country's legal system, and we hope to do something about it.

As but one voice speaking for the pizza industry, PizzaMarketplace is taking a stand against such senseless litigation by launching an online petition to support legislation designed to stop frivolous, obesity-related lawsuits. Two bills currently are on Capitol Hill: the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2003 (S. 1428, filed by Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.); and the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (H.R. 339, filed by Representative Ric Keller, R-Fla.) Rep. Keller's bill has passed the House, and now is headed to the Senate, where it may be merged with McConnell's.

Show your support for these bills by signing PizzaMarketplace's online petition. Your signatures will be among thousands we will deliver to Sen. McConnell and Rep. Keller as a demonstration of the pizza industry's support of their efforts to protect its businesses.

PizzaMarketplace also has created two additional forms that allow you to address your district's representatives directly by urging them to support these bills. One form supplies spaces for multiple signatures that can be mailed or faxed to respective legislators, and another is a form letter that allows you to send a plea for passage of this important legislation on your company's letterhead.

We urge you strongly to use any or all of these methods to show your support for the necessity of legislation to block obesity-related lawsuits against the foodservice industry.

Your opinion counts!

Sincerely,

Steve Coomes
Editor
PizzaMarketplace.com

** PizzaMarketplace will have two booths at the North America Pizza & Ice Cream Show, Feb. 8-9, 2004, in Columbus, Ohio. All attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to sign the petition there as well.

Read these obesity-lawsuit related articles:
* House Judiciary Committee passes bill discouraging obesity lawsuits against foodservice industry
* The Weight Debate
* OPINION: Low-fat pizza's nice, but will it keep the lawyers away?
* Case Dismissed
* Bill introduced in Capitol to force pizza chains, other QSRs to post nutritional info
* New poll finds majority of U.S. electorate views obesity lawsuits as frivolous

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