• NRA pushes for legislation to deter fast-food lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Restaurant Association is urging U.S. senators to develop legislation to prevent what it calls "frivolous class-action lawsuits" being filed against the restaurant industry.

According to an NRA release, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on class-action litigation during the last week of July, and the House of Representatives in March passed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2002. Should the act become law, it would, in some cases, remove national, multi-million dollar class actions from state courts and move them to federal courts.

"The recent news of a New York City lawyer filing a senseless, baseless and ridiculous lawsuit against four restaurant companies is further evidence of attorneys lining their own pockets with frivolous lawsuits that overburden the country's legal system," said Steven C. Anderson, the NRA's president and chief executive officer. "Our nation's judicial system is being abused by individuals for their own financial gain and small businesses are paying the price."

Anderson's remarks were in reference to a suit filed on July 25 by Caesar Barber, 56, in New York's Bronx Supreme Court. In the suit, Barber, who is 5' 10" and weighs 272 pounds, blames McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken for selling him food that was dangerous to his health.

Barber, a diabetic who has suffered two heart attacks in six years, also claims he believed fast food, which he ate for decades, was healthy for him.

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