This Note takes a critical look at Commonsense Consumption Acts and how they are detrimental to the possibility of “Big Food” litigation. The tobacco industry was held accountable through the effective use of tort litigation (commonly referred to as “Big Tobacco” litigation), and the food industry could theoretically be held similarly accountable, but CCAs are preventing the possibility of similar reform. Therefore, in order for health reform to be as effective as tobacco reform, CCAs must be repealed in the states where they exist. Part I of this Note discusses why the food industry needs tort reform. Specifically, it argues that the food industry has engaged in deceitful practices that are directly harming the health of American consumers, just as the tobacco industry did. Class action lawsuits played a vital role in holding the tobacco industry liable for tobacco-related illnesses. If CCAs were removed, class action lawsuits could also make an impact on obesity-related illnesses by holding the food industry accountable. Part II gives an overview of the different CCAs, including the legislative impetus behind their enactment and how they prevent health reform. Part III dives into a variety of foreseeable problems tort reform faces when taking on the powerful food industry, including how litigation against the food industry would differ from the–largely successful litigation against the tobacco industry. Lastly, the Note concludes with the argument that CCAs must be repealed, in order to move toward a healthier, more prosperous America.
Grace Thompson, How Commonsense Consumption Acts Are Preventing “Big Food” Litigation, 41 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 695 (2018).