DETROIT-On Wednesday morning, Judge Kathleen Macdonald of the Wayne County Circuit Court approved the $700,000 non-halal meat class action lawsuit settlement against defendants McDonald’s Corporation and Finley’s Management Company, the franchisee of McDonald’s store number 11663 located at 13158 Ford Rd. in Dearborn.
The plaintiffs, Ahmad Ahmad and his representation Dearborn law firm Jaafar & Mahdi Law Group, P.C., who also represented the whole class, sought damages of $700,000 for the alleged possible selling of non-halal meat at the Dearborn location.
$274,000 of that settlement total will be given to the HUDA clinic in Detroit, which provides services to people with no health insurance. $150,000 will also be dispensed to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. Additionally, $20,000 will be awarded to plaintiff Ahmad Ahmad, the complainant on the case, who originally made the allegations against the restaurant. The court agreed that his compensation was not for damages, but rather for the time he committed in helping to move the case forward.
The remaining $254,000 will go towards the plaintiff attorneys on the case, who spent hundreds of hours over a 19-month period assessing and verifying details surrounding the case, as well as consulting with numerous parties in order to determine the best possible settlement agreement that would benefit the entire class. The lawyers were also responsible for looking at dozens of organizations in surrounding areas to determine which ones could use a donation and would put it to good use.
The McDonald’s non-halal meat lawsuit had gone through twists and turns in the last couple of months. Misinformation regarding the case caused Judge Macdonald to extend the public notice period for the settlement, which was originally set for February. Dearborn Attorney Majed Moughni, who had publicly disapproved of the settlement, rallied Facebook users on the Dearborn Area Community Members Page, urging them to sign forms if they wanted to intervene into the settlement.
After the public notice period had ended, the court counted 64 objections against the settlement, 16 parties who were looking to “opt out” of the settlement, and 140 requests to intervene, most of which came from Moughn’s Facebook page.
The plaintiff and defendant representation, along with Judge Macdonald, agreed that there were no plausible reasons given against the settlement on any of the objections that were made by class members.