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McDonald’s Settles Halal Meat Lawsuit Filed by Detroit Man

News-India-TimesArticle Curtesy of
By:  News Indian Times

McDonald’s Settles Halal Meat Lawsuit Filed by Detroit Man

A lawsuit filed by a Muslim resident of Detroit in November 2011 against a local McDonald’s franchise for allegedly selling non-halal chicken, has been settled by the multinational company.

McDonalds-SignAccording to The Associated Press, McDonald’s and franchisee Finley’s Management Co., settled the suit with Ahmed Ahmed for $700,000 to be shared by the Detroit man, his lawyers, a Detroit health clinic and the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

In 2011, Ahmed claimed the company had sold him non-halal meat despite advertising itself as a franchise that sells halal products. The greater Detroit area has a large Muslim population, including several Indian- and South Asian-Americans.

Kassem Dakhlallah, Ahmed’s attorney from the law firm of Jaafar & Mahdi, told the Associated Press the settlement will come into effect March 1. McDonald’s and the franchise deny liability but say the settlement is in their best interests, AP reported.

According to Dakhlallah’s, Ahmed bought a chicken sandwich in September 2011 at one of two Michigan McDonald’s that advertise themselves as halal meat franchises. Halal meat requires God’s name to be invoked before the slaughter of animals.

Ahmed claimed the Finley franchise substituted halal meat for regular meat when it ran out of halal supplies. Dakhlallah told the AP he was approached by Ahmed and they conducted an investigation into the practices followed by Finley’s Management and found substitutions had taken place “on many occasions.”

“McDonald’s from the very beginning stepped up and took this case very seriously,” Dakhlallah is quoted as saying in the AP report.

“They made it clear they wanted to resolve this. They got ahead of the problem.”

In 2009, the fast-food giant settled a nationwide case against it filed by vegetarians, both individuals and organizations, over the use of animal fat in making french fries. McDonald’s announced it would stop using animal fat and agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups to settle the lawsuit.

 The company put an apology on its website saying, “We regret we did not provide these customers with complete information, and we sincerely apologize for any hardship that these miscommunications have caused among Hindus, vegetarians and others. We should have done a better job in these areas, and we’re committed to doing a better job in the future.”