In a sickening example of frivolous lawsuits, a California woman has sued McDonalds Corporation because the company “exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them.”

The lawsuit, filed by mother of two Monet Parham (with the assistance of the wet blankets over at the Center for Science and the Public Interest), states that “children 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising.”

Well, yes, I agree. Children that young do not have the cognitive skills to understand these things…but a parent certainly should.  And it simply is a parent’s job to say NO!

What’s next?  Should citizens feel its appropriate to sue every restaurant that offers unhealthy items on their kids’ menus (because I certainly don’t see much else except chicken fingers, grilled cheese and french fries on most kid’s menus).  Should we punish restaurants for offering a kid-friendly atmosphere–such as offering fun hats, crayons and small toys to visiting children? Should we sue the manufacturers of candy because it looks good to kids? How about we sue the grocery stores for putting candy, salty snacks, soda pop and balloons in the checkout aisle.  Oh no…am I giving Ms. Parham or the CSPI more ideas here?

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Parham documented the harrowing ordeal she faces having to say NO to her child’s constant McDonalds requests:  

“I don’t think it’s OK to entice children with Happy Meals with the promise of a toy,” she said, adding that she tries to hold her daughters, 6 and 2, to monthly visits to the fast-food chain. But she said their requests increased this summer, thanks to the popularity of “Shrek Forever After.” Collecting all of the toys offered in conjunction with the movie would require weekly visits, she said.  “Needless to say, my answer was no,” she said. “And as usual, pouting ensued and a little bit of a disagreement between us. This doesn’t stop with one request. It’s truly a litany of requests.”

Welcome to parenting, Ms. Parham.  Get a spine, say no, and stop wasting California taxpayer dollars with your rediculous lawsuit.