McDonald’s to pay $700K over halal lawsuit

By SHERRI KOLADE

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Not everyone is “lovin’ it” when it comes to the way a McDonald’s franchise says it prepare its food.

A Dearborn McDonald’s restaurant and its management company, Finley’s Management Co., agreed to pay nearly $700,000 to Dearborn Heights resident Ahmed Ahmed and others after Ahmed accused the fast food giant of serving him food advertised as halal when it was not, according to published reports.

Ahmed sued McDonald’s, 13158 Ford Road, and the management company in 2011 after eating a chicken sandwich and later discovering his dish was not halal, selling or serving food ritually fit, according to Islamic law.

McDonald’s and Finley’s Management Co. agreed Jan. 18 to the tentative settlement.

Ahmed’s Dearborn-based attorney Kassem Dakhlallah declined to comment on the case.

The preliminary settlement is expected to be finalized by March 1, according to published reports.

Ahmed approached Daklallah in 2011 and they conducted an investigation, according to published reports.

After they allegedly confirmed that the restaurant had sold non-halal food on numerous occasions, Dakhlallah’s firm sent a letter to McDonald’s Corp. and Finley’s Management Co.

After they received no response to the letter, Dakhlallah and Ahmed filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2011 as part of a class action lawsuit, according to the published report.

Halal food must be from an approved halal provider.

According to the published report, no evidence of problems on the production side were found, but McDonald’s on Ford Road allegedly sold non-halal products when it ran out of halal meats.

The settlement money will be split between Ahmed, the Health Unit on Davison Avenue and the Arab American National Museum to assist members of the community who may have eaten the food.

According to the published report, the final hearing will determine how the money is divided, but about $20,000 is expected to go to Ahmed, $275,000 to the HUDA clinic in Detroit, about $150,000 to the museum and roughly $230,000 to attorneys.

Two McDonald’s restaurants in the United States sell halal products – both are in Dearborn – and the locations advertise that they sell halal Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches.

The second McDonald’s franchise serving halal menu options is at 14864 Michigan Ave.

The McDonald’s franchise did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment by press time.

      (Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)

Tags: