WASHINGTON: Some vegetarians who won a $10-million lawsuit against McDonald's in a case involving french fries cooked in beef extract are now fighting over who should get the money.
Harish Bharti, the Indian American lawyer who originally brought the lawsuit against McDonald's, said the list of recipients was "rigged" by the fast-food giant. Another vegetarian's website claims the list has only "anti-vegetarians".
An Illinois Circuit Court in Chicago will hear the case on Monday to decide on the question of how the money will be distributed. Bharti, who is based in Seattle, said he would contest the proposed list brought out by the firm.
"I am deeply concerned that the funds not be allocated to a relatively small number of interest groups determined by lawyers with personal preferences or prejudices unrelated to the needs and concerns of the class members," he said. Bharti said the court should appoint an impartial third party to draw up a new list of recipients.
The list of French fry ingredients that McDonald's offers at its franchises and on its website includes potatoes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and "natural flavour".
The list does not mention that "natural flavour" comes from beef. To discover that, one would have to contact the firm's customer-satisfaction representative. But faced with a class-action lawsuit from angry vegetarians, McDonald's confirmed last year that its French fries are prepared with beef extract.
Soon after news of his lawsuit spread across the nation, Bharti said he received hundreds of calls from vegetarians who thought they were misled by McDonald's and wanted to join the suit.
Soon after news of his lawsuit spread across the nation, Bharti said he received hundreds of calls from those who thought they were misled by McDonald's and wanted to join the suit.
Three plaintiffs - two Hindu vegetarians and a non-Hindu vegetarian - were originally named in the suit, which since then grew as more people joined in.
The Economic Times
IANS[ SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2003 01:48:58 AM ]