McDonald’s Settle Halal Lawsuit for $700,000

mcdonalds_logoA judge has approved a $700,000 settlement in the lawsuit by Muslims against McDonalds for serving chicken that was viewed as violating the dietary standards of Halal. The class action was based on a case of Ahmed Ahmed, the Dearborn Heights man, who said that he bought a chicken sandwich that was not prepared according to Muslim standards.

Under Halal standards, God’s name must be invoked before an animal providing meat for consumption is slaughtered.

Ahmed will get some of the money and the rest will go a Detroit health clinic and the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn as well as the lawyers.

Local activists have opposed the settlement was going to organizations that do not directly benefit their community.

The settlement concerns one of the only two McDonalds to serve halal products. Once you hold out that you will meet such religious dietary standards, it becomes more of false advertising. Most of these cases occur with simple negligence like the Taco Bell case that led to a settlement with a Hindu man who was mistakenly given a beef burrito in violation of his faith. The man involved in that case said that the mistake required him to purify himself by bathing in the holy waters of the Ganges River.

Source: CBS

38 thoughts on “McDonald’s Settle Halal Lawsuit for $700,000”

  1. I find myself in agreement w/ most folks here. This is pandering to a religion.

  2. “I am a staunch separatist, but I do not view this case as implicating freedom of religion. Instead, it is about misrepresentation. “

    My hamburger never looks as good as the hamburger ads. I expect $700,000 for misrepresentation.

    The only reason this guy got as much money as he did is because of the sacrosanct privilege of religion.

  3. MacDonalds was dumb to settle. Jury trial would have solved the problem. Send in Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch during deliberations. Its not Fried chcken, its Shake n bake!

  4. Were his expectations, going in, that the sandwich was really going to comport to his religious standards? Really? McDonald’s? I’ve eaten there, grudgingly, and the sandwiches don’t comport to my (non-religious) standards.

  5. I am a staunch separatist, but I do not view this case as implicating freedom of religion. Instead, it is about misrepresentation. The gist of the claim is that a restaurant falsely advertised that its products were prepared in accordance with certain standards. It is really no different from a situation in which someone sells “all beef” hotdogs containing horse meat.

    As for the size of the award, it should be remembered that the parties reached a settlement. Neither the court nor a jury made any findings of fact or a determination of liability.

    Having said all that, I too am curious as to how one could prove a negative.

  6. I’m generally unsympathetic to McFrankenfoods; so if they got hoisted on their advertising of religious sensitivity, so freaking be it. But, frankly, I find the idea of purity of ANY sort, physical or spiritual, in a fast food franchise absolutely ludicrous.

  7. Jonathan, I have a question. Did McDonalds actually lie about preparing all their food in the halal manner – which is blatantly false advertising and should be punished – or did the staff accidentally serve a non-halal sandwich to one specific customer – in which case the lawsuit is indeed frivolous?

  8. Mc Donalds does not make its own halal food, it buys it from suppliers , possibly the same ones supplying all other fast food joints. AS it was for the ground beef/horse meat issue in Britain, McD buys its halal meat from a company that certifies its halalness. That company must have been found to be deceptive, but since the item was served by and bought from McD, they get to pay.
    It is same issue as if one was allergic to gluten, bought food claimed gluten free, and found out that it, yes, had gluten in it.. You cannot charge for halal, or kosher, then serve non-halal, or non-kosher.

  9. At some point, religious people need to hear the word “no.” Handing over $700,000 sends the opposite message. Our society, while multi-cultural, is secular. Once exceptions are made, the dam burst is not far behind. What the **** did you expect from a bloody McDonalds?!?

    What’s next? No interest on loans for “special people” who’s only claim to fame is belief in invisible things that cannot be demonstrated?

    $700,000 could go a long way towards the treatment of the mental health issues underlying the perfectly childish notion that someone other than me cares what I put into my body. And “other” happens to be a big cosmic bully who I will use to threaten anyone with whom I disagree. Now fork over that $700k, infidel! Or else! ELSE, I say!

  10. I do not understand the details in Halal or Kosher or other religious food standards, but you do not move to such a neighborhood, state your food is prepared in such a way, and then have it be a lie. Good court decision.

  11. How did this man find out that God’s name wasn’t invoked before slaughtering the chicken? I don’t see any explanation of that.

  12. heck! he was eating at McAwfuls & now wants to say his sensibilities were offended? Man, that would have been an interesting jury to sit on

  13. If you say you are following religious tenets in making your food, it could get expensive if you don’t follow them! Was the defendant the McDonald’s franchisee or was it a corporate owned store?

  14. $700,000???

    Seven hundred mother****ing thousand dollars?

    For the delicate religious sensibilities of some wonderful fellow who claims his chicken sandwich wasn’t prepared correctly? Even though what he ingested was EXACTLY the same as what he wanted to eat in the first place?

    Can you imagine if the other freedoms protected by the First Amendment were treated with the deference given to religion?

    Cops didn’t allow a gay pride parade? A $700,000 settlement for every person involved!

    An ad for marijuana legalization – heck, an ad for atheism! – rejected for display on 300 municipal buses? $210 million – fork it over now, if you please.

    The right to believe stupid and contradictory things about invisible sky men is protected, but does it need to be respected more than rational endeavors?

  15. Religious fast food is a non-sequitur isn’t it?

    What next McKosher?

    Rabbis, Priests, Monks, Ministers, and the like serving fast foods?

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