Gag Order in Chicken McNuggets Class Action
Attorneys from Dearborn filed a class action against McDonald’s for falsely advertising halal Chicken McNuggets when they were, in fact, not halal. The plaintiffs’ attorneys entered into a proposed settlement with the restaurant. Notice was then posted and sent to the potential class members. Local attorney Majed Moughni, who opposed the settlement because none of the proceeds went to the victims who had consumed the food, set up a Facebook page urging people to opt out of the class or object to the settlement.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys, joined by counsel for McDonald’s, filed an “emergency motion” in January 2013 to enjoin Mr. Moughni from speaking out about the case and to have the Facebook page shut down. Judge Kathleen Macdonald granted the motion and issued a gag order prohibiting Mr. Moughni from saying anything about the case, including why he thought the settlement was unjust.
The ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Moughni, arguing that the court’s interest in seeing the class action settled did not give the judge authority to prevent others from speaking out against what they thought was an unfair settlement.
In March 2013 the parties and the judge agreed to lift the gag order.
(Ahmend v. McDonald’s Corp.; ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg; Cooperating Attorney Genevieve Scott.)
To view the full 2013-2014 Legal Docket, click here.