According to reports, McDonald's and one of its franchise owners agreed to
pay $700,000 to members of a Muslim community to settle allegations that a
restaurant in Detroit-area falsely advertised its food as being prepared
according to Islamic dietary law.
McDonald's and Finley's Management Co. agreed to the tentative settlement, according to which the money will be shared by Dearborn Heights resident Ahmed, a Detroit
health clinic, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and lawyers.
The lawsuit alleged that Ahmed bought a chicken sandwich in September 2011 at
a Dearborn McDonald's but found it wasn't halal, which means it didn't meet
Islamic requirements for preparing food.
Ahmed's attorney Kassem Dakhlallah said there are only two
McDonald's in the United States that sell halal products and both are in
He said there was no evidence of problems on the production side, but he
alleges that the Dearborn location on Ford Road sold non-halal products when it
ran out of halal.
Ahmed and his attorney conducted a probe and a letter was sent to McDonald's
Corp. and Finley's Management by Dakhlallah's firm.
After they received no response to the letter, they filed a
lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2011 as part of a class
In the settlement notice, Finley's Management said it "has a carefully
designed system for preparing and serving halal such that halal chicken products
are labeled, stored, refrigerated, and cooked in halal-only areas."
The final hearing will ultimately determine who gets what and how much, but
roughly $275,000 is expected to go to the Huda Clinic, about $150,000 to the
museum, $230,000 to attorneys and $20,000 to Ahmed.