On June 18, 2003, a lawyer represent vegetarians who opposed the final makeup of a settlement agreement with McDonald’s filed a lawsuit to prevent “non-vegetarian” groups from receiving money from that settlement.
Chicago law firm Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein released the following press release announcing the decision to appeal the final disbursement arrangements,
Chicago Law Firm Representing Prominent Members of Vegetarian Community Appeals Disbursement of $6 million in settlement funds in McDonald’s French Fry Case
CHICAGO, June 18, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) — Michael B. Hyman, principal with Chicago law firm Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C., announced today that several prominent members of the vegetarian community filed a notice of appeal on Monday related to a suit against fast food giant McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD). At issue in the appeal is a recent court ruling that allows the allocation of $6 million in settlement funds to be directed to groups which do not uphold the values of vegetarianism, as required by the settlement agreement. The suit attacked McDonald’s use of beef by-products in the preparation of McDonald’s French fries and hash browns.
These prominent members of the vegetarian community (appellants) are not appealing the settlement itself, but assert that the $6 million distribution subverts the spirit and the letter of the settlement agreement by improperly directing funds to non-vegetarian groups, groups hostile to vegetarianism and groups in limited size and geographical reach. A “vegetarian” is a person who does not eat meat, fish, foul or any food derived from the flesh of animals.
“This distribution is like getting a Happy Meal without the food,” Hyman said. “The settlement, on its face, seems to be fair to the vegetarian community, but you open up the box and what you’re expecting just isn’t there.”
The distribution of attorney’s fees to plaintiffs’ lawyers is also being appealed.
It is expected that the appeal could take more than two years to be argued and a decision rendered.
About Much Shelist and Michael B. Hyman
Much Shelist is a Chicago law firm of 90 lawyers established in 1970 with a national business and litigation practice. Michael B. Hyman, a principal in the firm, has a practice that concentrates in contingent matters and consumer, antitrust and securities litigation. On behalf of consumers, the firm has litigated high-profile class actions involving infant formula, frequent flyer miles, auto repairs, tires, seatbelts, tax-preparation services, billing for medical testing, drought insurance, and telephone services, among others. Mr. Hyman is one of the foremost class action practitioners in the United States and has been one of the lead attorneys in lawsuits against State Farm Insurance, H.& R. Block, American Airlines, and Prudential Insurance.
Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C.
Jay Dinwoodie, Marketing Manager
Chicago Law Firm Representing Prominent Members of Vegetarian Community Appeals Disbursement of $6 million in settlement funds in McDonald’s French Fry Case. Press Release, Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, Juen 18, 2003.
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