Is There Chlorine for the Jury Pool?

You have to admire John Banzhaf’s tenacity, if not his opportunistic moral compass. Eager to follow through on his earlier promises that he would eventually find a sympathetic jury for
his fast-food lawsuits
, Banzhaf is setting out to grow that very jury from scratch.

On last night’s “Capital Report,” CNBC viewers saw Banzhaf claim that he has already “won three” obesity-related lawsuits. In a less-guarded moment three weeks ago, however, Banzhaf was more forthcoming, admitting that his $12.5 million settlement from McDonald’s (typical of those three “victories”) “is not, first of all, an obesity case.” But when the TV cameras are on, Banzhaf continues to mislead the public into believing that suing restaurants for their customers’ dietary choices is already a mainstream idea.

Banzhaf spoke loudly and carried a big stick on CNBC, warning viewers that his “overall movement” will file “a variety of different suits, [with] different plaintiffs, different defendants, just like we did with tobacco.”

Marvelous. Claim — without a shred of credible evidence — that food is as addictive as nicotine or heroin, and then sue everyone.

As Banzhaf continues to taint the potential jury pool with his rhetoric, he has also become bolder about letting his agenda show. “The very fact that lawyers are going to be making money out of [suing restaurants],” he said last night, “is exactly what we’re counting on ’cause that’s what made it with tobacco.”

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