Bill would strip ability to sue over some health problems

Legislation to prevent consumers from suing food companies over weight gain or other health problems has moved closer to a vote in the Minnesota House.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure, known as the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, by a divided voice vote.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said food and health issues should be addressed through the existing regulatory system, not the courts.

"Let's close the door on that type of high-cost litigation that enriches the few, drives up the price of the product to consumers and has the potential to give a big windfall to the state," he said.

The statewide organization that represents trial lawyers opposes the bill. Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, has been proposing the bill since 2004.