Home Health News Brazil: Man Sues McDonalds For Making Him Fat… And WINS!

Brazil: Man Sues McDonalds For Making Him Fat… And WINS!

by Erika Nicole Kendall

A man in Brazil sues McDonalds, his former employer, for making him gain weight.

I just… I have some questions to ask:

A Brazilian court ruled this week that McDonald’s must pay a former franchise manager $17,500 because he gained 65 pounds (30 kilograms) while working there for a dozen years.The 32-year-old man said he felt forced to sample the food each day to ensure quality standards remained high, because McDonald’s hired “mystery clients” to randomly visit restaurants and report on the food, service and cleanliness.

The man also said the company offered free lunches to employees, adding to his caloric intake while on the job. His identity was not released.

The ruling was signed Tuesday by Judge Joao Ghisleni Filho in Porto Alegre.

Ghisleni said McDonald’s could appeal the case, and the Brazilian headquarters of the chain said in an e-mailed statement Thursday it was weighing its legal options.

McDonald’s also noted that it offers healthier food choices.

“The chain offers a large variety of options and balanced menus to cater (to) the daily dietary needs of its employees,” the company said in the statement.

McDonald’s headquarters is in Oak Brook, Illinois. [source]

So… I’ve got questions.

What do you think? Do you think he had a legit case? Do you think he was full of it?

What if this played out in the United States? Do you think he’d win?

More importantly… should we be suing these companies for the havoc their products wreck on our bodies?

Looking forward to your answers! I know I’ve got mine. Good grief.

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keisha brown October 28, 2010 - 7:44 PM

when you work in retail, the company offers a discount on the clothes, so that you represent their brand better. they dont tell you how to dress (they just tell you how not to).

so..this person felt pressured to eat McD’s everyday? how bout doing a good job so that if a mystery client came in, you can service them well enough to get a good grade? how bout not eating it all day, everyday?

what happened to personal responsibility for a) what one puts in their body and b) staying at that job?

im not sure how it would turn out in the US. on one hand, some judge might want to send a message that obesity is an issue. on the other hand, it starts a dangerous slippery slope.

either way..smh…

Kamika October 28, 2010 - 7:51 PM

This is a bunch of bunk. I would hope that when he applied to manage the McD’s he knew they sold FAST FOOD. He wasn’t forced to take the job nor was he forced to eat their food. Sampling for quality is a lot different than eating an entire Value Meal. He could have brought his lunch instead of eating their food. You mean he was dumb and getting fatter for an entire 12 years? SMH!!

jaila October 28, 2010 - 8:54 PM

they may have strong armed him to taste the food not to swallow it. The bring your own lunch was still an option I would imagine. Are we no longer accountable for our own actions and choices anymore?

Eva October 29, 2010 - 7:30 AM

Some did try this in NYC a few years ago. I think, two young girls who were homeless. The McDonalds was the only place in walking distance from their shelter. The judge threw the case out though.

Monika October 29, 2010 - 10:13 AM

And how much does this case cost everyone who pays taxes in Brazil? Money who could have put to way better use (educating citizens about healthy eating choices, for instance).
I found it plain unfair to use a system (court) to get money from an employer when all one have to do is not to eat the food offered by the employer. Besides, you works at a fast food joint, what the**** do you expect? And sorry….but tasting does not give you this weight gain.
And …as far was I know even there they sell plain water, salas (bring your own dressing here and skip the croutons, cheese and ham) and fruits.
I am so over ppl who do not take responsibilities for their actions (pack lunch, in this case).The food Mc Donalds offers to him has not been free.And it does not take a genius to see this. He pays with his health and again…what did he expect from a company like this? smh…
He should be forced to donate the money to a slow food organisation or a local organic food coop or the local school to invest in healthy cooking classes or scholl gardens.

CJM October 29, 2010 - 11:42 AM

I sat and tried to figure out all he would have to prove in some states in the US. Was Mickie D’s solely responsible for his “injury” or was he contributorily negligent? Did he eat a healthy breakfast and dinner, walk on his breaks or after work, and lead an otherwise non-sedentary lifestyle? I don’t know if this is some sort of worker’s comp case where his “former employment induced disability” has made it so that he is no longer able to work as a franchise manager. So many questions but really I’m thinking he didn’t eat a balanced diet when he wasn’t at work and he did a lot of sitting when he wasnt at work. His gall annoys me. I cannot blame my agency for making me sit behind a desk to be a lawyer, thereby making me more likely to hold onto my calories during the work day than a waitress. I chose this profession. Yes they could make things more convenient by leasing space in a building with a gym or being in a more walkable neighborhood but that’s just convenience. He shouldn’t blame MCDonalds for what he put in his mouth. I’m not a huge fan of MIckie D’s but I know that he could do quality control without consistently choosing the highest calorie items on the menu. How about making sure the lettuce is crisp and the tomatoes don’t taste old. Maybe make sure that the tortillas used for breakfast wraps aren’t stale. Nobody can force a burger and fries down your throat every day. Nope, you choose to have that meal and wash it down with a jumbo strawberry shake.

Kim October 29, 2010 - 4:09 PM

I have a problem with anyone suing for having made poor choices. I agree with the others who share a similar sentiment. Take responsibility for your actions. Our litigious society is embarrassing and the courts that support the nonsense and find in favor of these people are more embarrassing.

Shante December 28, 2010 - 1:54 PM

This is a bunch of BS! As a pastry chef I can say without a doubt that any person that gets involved in the food industry knows that gaining weight is a hazard of the job. Its just a fact of of the industry. Its something that everyone from the dishwashers, chefs, management and servers deal with. Someone trying to get money off of that is lazy and trying to make a buck. I have to taste all kinds of things and you do it for a reason because sometimes you mix up salt for sugar and that is just a whole lot of nasty. However it is up to the person to decide how much they will taste. A small teaspoon is enough and anymore than that is not tasting.

Johnnie May 11, 2011 - 12:54 AM

That is just ridiculus!

Nicole May 12, 2011 - 11:27 AM

That would never fly in the US. The fact of the matter is he made the choice to eat the food. Cooperative word is CHOICE here. Nobody shoved the food down his throat and forced him to eat it. He’s basically saying that he had no choice and no options. Even still he had the option of choosing to eat something that was HEALTHIER on the menu and he CHOSE not to. Honestly it’s like blaming your car for breaking down on you because you chose to put all of the wrong things in the car to make it run. That’s how I see it.

Stephanie September 26, 2014 - 6:08 PM

Did anyone notice that he gained only 65 pounds over a “dozen years”? yes, that is no fun, but it’s about average sadly for an adult now a days to gain that much from age 20 to 32. I looked it up, and adults gain 5-8 pounds a year after age 25. I think he is right on track, no matter where he worked. I think he has no case at all.
Side note: I’ve gained 50 pounds this past year, and I have no one to sue. If I could sue my parent’s divorce, my own break up, back injury and chronic pain for all the emotional eating and lack of exercise, I just might!! But guess what, I’d still have all this weight to lose, and lots of work to do.

Gym Leader Brock March 10, 2015 - 1:59 AM

I worked for Mcdonalds for 5 years as a custodian, they had no problem with me taking the big salad for Lunch with chicken. He would have had options to eat healthy at Mcdonalds. He didn’t have to eat the High Glycemic Index food items, like the bread, the fries, and the soda. The Employers there want you to be presentable, so if that means feeding you a salad instead, they’re going to do it even if it costs them a little bit more money. Chances are he was getting fat from other things, like the pizza he was eating at home, or the sugars. Of course pizza is High glycemic index, and its mostly bread. Sugars are just bad. His weight gain is dietary, and it was ultimately his choice. Perhaps more employees that work there should be encouraged to eat a salad. If you’re off work, and in the area come in for a discounted salad 50% off, you won’t get fat. So there are always options to respect yourself. It could be possible his employer denied him a salad because its a more expensive food item. 60 pounds, is totally reversable within a few months so it will be ultimately his choice to change that. If a large salad was denied to him as his employee meal then I would support the lawsuit. Ah, also don’t forget to mension Unsweetened Iced Tea. Refined sugar and aspartame is cancerous. So many options for the fat concious individual. So future lawsuits involving cancer, and diabeties they will always know they could’ve had unsweetened iced tea so ultimately they caused the illness all by themselves.

Erika Nicole Kendall March 10, 2015 - 5:01 AM

I kinda just want to push back against a couple of things, here:

“So there are always options to respect yourself.”

I’m always skeptical of people who link certain kinds of dietary choices with “self-respect,” because a cornerstone of self-respect is “learning better and, then, doing better.” If you don’t learn just how deleterious McDonalds’ food can be, does it really negate your values to eat it? (If it says something different in the article indicating he KNEW better, forgive me. ROFL)

“The Employers there want you to be presentable,”

Also skeptical of the idea that being overweight is somehow inherently not-‘presentable.’ Presentability shouldn’t be rooted in body size, and we do ourselves a great disservice by perpetuating that, IMHO. There are plenty of meaningful, valuable, good reasons to encourage and support a lifetime of fitness; tacking it onto things like “presentability” only breeds the kind of shame that lulls people into inaction.

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