Reference no: EM132280356
Ethics Case Study
McDonald's Corporation operates the largest fast-food restaurant chain in the United States and in the world. It produces such famous foods as the "Big Mac," "Chicken McNuggets," the "Egg McMuffin," fries, milkshakes, and other high caloric foods.
A recent McDonald's survey showed that 22% of its customers are "Super Heavy Users," meaning that they eat at McDonald's ten times or more a month. Significantly, Super Heavy Users make up approximately 75% of McDonald's sales. The survey also found that 72% of McDonald's customers are "Heavy Users," meaning that they eat at McDonald's at least once a week.
Though internal McDonald's data showed a direct correlation between heavy consumption and obesity following the survey, this statistical information was not made available to the public. Jasmine Brandon consumed McDonald's foods her entire life during school lunch breaks and before and after school, approximately five times per week, ordering two meals per day.
When Brandon was 19 years old, she sued McDonald's corporation for causing her obesity and the health problems associated with her condition. In her lawsuit, she alleged that McDonald's, through its advertising campaigns and other publicity, created the impression that its food products were nutritious, of a beneficial nature, and easily part of a healthy lifestyle if consumed on a daily basis.
1. Consider the various legal issues you have studied this semester. What potential legal claim(s) might Brandon's case present? Explain.
2. Do you think Brandon's potential legal claim(s) will prevail? Why or why not? Use any applicable legal principles you've learned this semester to support your position.
3. What non-legal arguments can you make supporting McDonald's obligation to inform consumers about the correlation between heavy consumption and obesity? Offer both ethical arguments and arguments favoring corporate social responsibility.
4. What non-legal arguments can you make opposing McDonald's obligation to inform consumers about the correlation between heavy consumption and obesity? Offer both ethical arguments and arguments opposing corporate social responsibility.
5. Consider your responses to Questions 3 and 4. In your opinion, which argument is more "correct" and why?
6. Pretend you serve as a corporate officer for McDonalds with full command over the corporation's business operations. How might you prevent any allegations of legal, ethical, or social irresponsibility from other heavy users in the future? Explain why your plan for resolution would effectively resolve similar conflicts.