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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The $700K Chicken Sandwich

This comes under the heading, fellow attorneys, please stop profiting from lawsuits where your client isn't even profiting.  McDonald's will payout a $700K settlement over what we like to call the "$700K Chicken Sandwich."  McDonald's, the corporation, and one of its franchise owners, Finley Management, was sued by local resident, Ahmed Ahmed, on the grounds that the restaurant falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary law.  There are two McDonald's in Dearborn which reportedly advertise their chicken sandwiches and Chicken McNuggets to be halal, meaning it  meets Islamic requirements for preparing food. The Plaintiff, Mr. Ahmed, alleged that he bought a chicken sandwich in September 2011 at a Dearborn McDonald's but found it wasn't halal. According to the lawsuit, “Islam forbids consumption of pork, and God's name must be invoked before an animal providing meat for consumption is slaughtered.” Ahmed's attorney, Kassem Dakhlallah, told the Associated Press that he's "thrilled" with the preliminary deal that's expected to be finalized March 1.  The thrilled attorney will be taking away about $230,000.00 in attorneys' fees.  McDonald's and Finley's Management deny any liability but say the settlement is in their best interests. That is lawyer talk for we really don’t think we did anything wrong but we would have to pay our lawyers so much money to prove it and we would get so much bad press that we would rather pay off the plaintiff.  To the plaintiff’s credit, he wants most of the money to go to charity. The final hearing will ultimately determine how the $700K gets whacked up, but roughly $275,000.00 is expected to go to the Huda Clinic, a local not-for-profit medical clinic,  about $150,000.00 to a local not-for-profit museum, about $230,000.00 to the attorney and $20,000.00 to Mr. Ahmed. 
Juliana LoBiondo
LoBiondo Law 
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