McDonald's Victory Ends McLibel Trial

Essay by michelle9182 August 2005

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McDonald's Victory Ends McLibel Trial

IT WAS the fast-food chain McDonald's who won the 314-day trial when Mr Justice Bell proclaimed ₤60,000 in damages against two London Greenpeace campaigners, Dave Morris and Helen Steel on June 19, 1997.

Mr. Justice Bell who has been the judge for this trial, which is the longest in English legal history, ruled that the leaflet published in 1986 was not true apart from three of the allegations after hearing evidence given by 180 witnesses.

The writs that were issued on September 20, 1990 came to an end when Mr Justice Bell read a 45 page summary of his judgement in the trial that lasted for two hours. He found that only three allegations were true; which were exploitation of children, low pay rate to workers and cruelty in the rearing of some of its animals.

Mr Justice Bell indicated that the accusation of McDonald's being responsible for the starvation of the third world was neither true nor destroying vast areas of Central America rainforest.

However, he also stated that McDonald's advertising of its nutritional benefit and recycling was ambiguous rather than lying. In addition to that, the judge also found that although wages are low they are not discriminatory against specific ethic, gender or age group.

Mr Morris, 43 and Ms Steel, 31 both with a combined income of less than ₤7,500 a year was sued by McDonald's Corporation and McDonald's Restaurant Ltd ₤30,000 each for the damages they had done. Ms Steel, however, was responsible for ₤27,500 as her involvement is shorter than Mr Morris.

Ms Steel, when was asked about their vain effort said that they both do not regret for what they have done in those seven "empowering" years. "If I had known how long it was going to last -...