Woman Files Lawsuit, Claims McDonald’s Makes Parenting Hard

I don’t know what I can add to this. The Foundry reports:

Monet Parham, an employee of the California Department of Public Health, has lent her name—and that of her daughter Maya, age 6—to a preposterous class-action lawsuit alleging that McDonald’s is “unfair” to parents. The lure of a Happy Meal toy, Parham claims, so provokes Maya’s “pester power” that familial conflict ensues.

We’re not making this up.

The real tragedy here is that Parham is free to file a wholly frivolous lawsuit, while there’s no recourse for McDonald’s to recoup its legal costs. Nor can Maya hold her mother responsible for thrusting her into the national spotlight as a “pest” when, in reality, there’s nothing the least bit untoward about the little girl’s attraction to toys.

Perpetrating this scam is the (so-called) Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), whose bread and butter is filing baseless lawsuits against major food manufacturers and restaurants, including Denny’s, Burger King, Coca Cola, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. All of which generates loads of front-page headlines and major bucks from liberal foundations. But were it not for the capitulation of some gutless corporations, the CSPI would likely have been rendered powerless a long time ago.

To their credit, McDonald’s executives have pledged to “vigorously defend” the Happy Meal against the CSPI suit, the particulars of which ought to make every responsible parent wince. To wit:

  • “Maya has requested Happy Meals from Parham because of McDonald’s marketing practices, and sometimes Parham, not wishing to cause family rancor, purchases such meals.”
  • “Because of McDonald’s marketing, Maya has frequently pestered Parham into purchasing Happy Meals, thereby spending money on a product she would not have otherwise purchased.”
  • “Maya, age six, continually clamors to be taken to McDonald’s ‘for the toys.’ Maya learns of Happy Meal toys from other children in her playgroup, despite Parham’s efforts to restrict Maya’s exposure to McDonald’s advertising and access to Happy Meal toys.”

It’s rather perverse for Parham to claim that McDonald’s is “interfering” in her family while, at the same time, she’s inviting judicial intervention into parenting decisions. As an employee with the nutrition section of California’s health department, Parham can already nag her fellow citizens about their eating habits. But asking the court to strip parents of their authority to decide what to feed their children constitutes Nannyism of a different scale.

Turning 14 Days Into Fortnightly, Lawsuit Style

The only previous time I recall hearing the term "fortnight" is when the Wimbledon tennis championship rolls around each summer. The Brits (and the Americans who report on the event) love the word instead of just saying 14 days. Who can blame them? It’s a chance to be different — except when everyone is doing the same thing.

I had the pleasure of attending matches at Centre Court at Wimbldeon a few years ago. My family was able to soak in many of the British traditions, as well as witness a streaker who was trying his best to impress Maria Sharapova. It seemed to take a fortnight to get him off the court and out of the stadium.

But I digress. The topic was fortnight and how it was rarely seen until the Heartland Institute’s development of the Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly. When I first became aware of this online reality look at just what’s wrong with our court system and why it costs us so much money, the updates were coming infrequently (at least not on a fortnightly basis). The British must have complained, because the 2009 updates have been appearing like fortnightly clockwork.

While I’m happy to see the time schedule aligned, it’s sad that the editors can so easily come up with enough cases of abuse to share on a biweekly basis — or every 14 days —  or fortnightly.

My favorite from the current edition is below. Read all the latest bizarre news.

A 78-year-old Wisconsin woman is suing the Monroe, Wisconsin senior citizens center after she was barred from it for violating the center’s code of conduct.

She alleges the center violated her right to free speech and its code of conduct is unconstitutional after the center wrote her saying she failed to treat others with respect, used abusive language, and physically threatened others. The center said they’d let her back in if she completed an anger management course.

“She, in my view, is entitled to [compensation], but her main goal is to be able to enjoy the senior center,” said her attorney.