VegSource Interactive Inc. | McDonald's Litigation

Vegetarians Get a Break Today!

February 19, 2003

Los Angeles -- A group of noted vegetarians filed a motion last Friday to intervene in the McDonald's case. Today that motion was granted by the trial judge in Chicago. Below is a release from the law firm representing the individuals, describing the recent development.

The group involved in the intervention includes John Robbins, Alex Hershaft PhD, John McDougall MD, Joanne Stepaniak, Matt Ball, Jack Norris, T. Colin Campbell PhD, Michael Klaper MD, Mark Epstein, Jeff Nelson, Stanley & Rhoda Sapon, Gene and Lorri Bauston, Lynn Grudnik, Mary Liro and James Glackin.

The ruling means that as the case progresses the intervenors will be a part of the litigation.

Press Release

SOURCE: Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C.

Chicago Law Firm Intervenes on Behalf of Prominent Members of the Vegetarian Community in Settlement of Controversial McDonald's French Fries Case
Clients assert that proposed allocation of settlement
funds is improperly weighted to non-vegetarian groups

CHICAGO, IL - February 19, 2003 - Michael B. Hyman, principal with Chicago law firm Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. announced today that he has successfully intervened in a proposed settlement with McDonald's corporation on behalf of a group of prominent members of the vegetarian community. At issue is the proposed allocation of $6 million in funds to be directed to vegetarian organizations. The funds are the result of a proposed settlement in a class action suit filed against fast food giant McDonald's over its failure to disclose the inclusion of beef products in the preparation of its French fries and hash browns.

The objectors assert that the $6 million distribution, as proposed, violates the terms of the settlement agreement by improperly directing funds to non-vegetarian groups, groups hostile to vegetarianism and groups in limited size and geographical reach.

"This proposed distribution violates not just the letter, but the spirit of the settlement agreement," Hyman said.

Specifically, the proposed settlement disbursements are directed at twelve organizations. Of the twelve, Hyman and the objectors argue that seven are clearly not vegetarian organizations, and an eighth, The Vegetarian Resource Group - earmarked for $1.4 million, or 23% of the settlement dollars - originally opposed the lawsuit. The court has set February 25 to specifically rule on the proposed distribution plan.

Hyman concluded by saying, "This settlement should promote the values of the vegetarian community, but as proposed, it is far from achieving its purpose."

About Much Shelist and Michael B. Hyman

Much Shelist is a Chicago law firm of 90 lawyers established in 1970 with a national business and litigation practice. Michael B. Hyman, a principal in the firm, has a practice that concentrates in contingent matters and consumer, antitrust and securities litigation. On behalf of consumers, the firm has litigated high-profile class actions involving infant formula, frequent flyer miles, auto repairs, tires, seatbelts, tax-preparation services, billing for medical testing, drought insurance, and telephone services, among others. Mr. Hyman is one of the foremost class action practictioners in the United States and has been one of the lead attorneys in lawsuits against State Farm Insurance, H.& R. Block, American Airlines, and Prudential Insurance. He can be contacted at 312.521.2444 or by e-mail at