Lawsuits: Food Fight

New York lawyer Samuel Hirsch weighs 155 pounds, eats tuna for lunch nearly every day and, because he keeps kosher, has never eaten at McDonald's. But when he decided last summer to sue the restaurant chain on behalf of obese teenagers who blamed fast food, he was ridiculed on talk radio and by late-night comics, who said fat people should blame themselves. Last month a federal judge dismissed Hirsch's lawsuit in a sprawling decision (one that invoked both Subway dieter Jared Fogle and Don Gorske, a Wisconsin man who's eaten a Big Mac a day for 30 years). Despite the setback, Hirsch remains resolute. "I'm not going to walk away from this now," he says. "I've become a believer in the cause." And now, Hirsch tells NEWSWEEK, he's targeting companies selling weight-loss products such as herbal supplements. Within weeks, he says, his law firm will begin placing ads in magazines to invite clients who bought the products but failed to lose weight to join a class-action lawsuit. He also intends to refile the McDonald's case. Round one may have gone to the burger flippers, but this food fight won't be over until the fat lady sings.