RHONDA SCHAFFLER, CNNfn ANCHOR, MARKET CALL: Do you want fries with that? That question could force the fast food industry to defend itself against a civil lawsuit but not if a bill set to be voted on in the House this week becomes law. The so called Cheeseburger Bill will give the industry immunity from being held liability for contributing to the nation's obesity epidemic.
Proponents of the bill say lawsuits against fast food companies are examples of consumers wanting to hit the justice system jackpot. Others content Congress is trying to protect another big business from liability.
SCHAFFLER: Joanne, what are the issues, as far as you're concerned, with this bill?
JOANNE DOROSHOW, CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY: Well, what we're talking about here are mega industries with massive amounts of money and power coming to Congress, telling them to drop everything they're doing to give them freedoms from any legal accountability. These are freedoms that no other industry has.
SCHAFFLER: In other words, it's not just fast food. We had gun manufacturers going to Congress. We've had also HMOs, correct?
DOROSHOW: Yes and our oil and chemical companies coming in for escaping liability for polluting drinking water. And that was part of the energy bill that fortunately was not passed. But this is a pattern that we're seeing not only in Congress but in state legislatures around the country. Every little special interest group with some money greases up the politicians, says we want immunity and oftentimes they will get it.
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