Friday, May 17, 2013

NC House OKs blocking some obesity lawsuits

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Legislation that attempts to prevent people from suing North Carolina food manufacturers, sellers and advertisers by claiming their products made them overweight has passed one General Assembly chamber.

A majority in the House voted Wednesday night for legislation that would bar civil actions against food producers and marketers on claims long-term consumption led to weight gain and obesity-related health problems.

Bill sponsor Rep. Brian Brown of Greenville says the measure is a commonsense way to eliminate frivolous lawsuits. But Rep. Deborah Ross of Raleigh says the state's negligence rules already prevent awards to people who are found to have contributed to their injury.

The bill now heading to the Senate also makes clear local governments can't pass ordinances prohibiting soft drink sales above a particular size.

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