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Originally published November 6 2010

McDonald's ordered to pay obese employee thousands in settlement

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Fast food giant McDonald's is back in the news again, this time for a lawsuit filed in Brazil by a former employee of the company. According to reports, a judge in Brazil ordered McDonald's to pay $17,500 to a 32-year-old former franchise manager because eating McDonald's food allegedly caused him to gain 65 pounds during the course of his twelve years of employment at the company.

The man indicated that he felt obligated to sample McDonald's food each day in order to verify its quality. He said he "felt forced to sample the food each day to ensure that quality standards remained high, because McDonald's hired 'mystery clients' to randomly visit restaurants and report on the food, service and cleanliness."

Judge Joao Ghisleni Filho in Porto Alegre, who ruled on the case, indicated that McDonald's may end up appealing the case. But the McDonald's headquarters in Brazil issued an e-mail statement saying that it is currently evaluating it legal options in the matter.

"The chain offers a large variety of options and balanced menus to cater (to) the daily dietary needs of its employees," McDonald's said in its statement, alleging that its restaurants offer other healthier food choices besides the usual culprits like burgers and French fries.

Recently, a U.S. judge in Manhattan ruled against a class action lawsuit against McDonald's that alleged its food is responsible for childhood obesity. A McDonald's spokesperson said the company was "extremely pleased with the court's decision" and that it is "unfair to blame McDonald's for this complex societal problem."

Individuals can still legally file lawsuits against fast food companies, however. And the recent Brazil decision could trigger a landslide of similar lawsuits.

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