According to a news source, a Michigan state court has approved a settlement of claims that a McDonald’s franchisee falsely advertised some of its chicken products as halel, or prepared in accordance with Muslim dietary restrictions. Ahmed v. Finley’s Mgmt. Co., No. 11-014559-CZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty., settlement approved April 17, 2013). The settlement was approved despite objections that the $700,000 settlement fund would be unfairly distributed, for the most part, to two charities without compensating those harmed by the purported fraud. Additional information about the litigation appears in issues 468, 471, 473, and 475 of this Update.
The attorney who was a member of the class, posted objections to the settlement on his Facebook® page and successfully defeated a gag order imposed by the court has reportedly indicated that he does not plan to appeal after plaintiffs’ counsel assured him that some of their $233,000 in fees would be donated to additional local charities. Despite McDonald’s assurances that it was committed to community interests, Majed Moughni said that he and other local Muslims who also objected to the settlement are leading a boycott of the fast-food restaurant chain. See Law360, April 17, 2013.