McDonald's and one of its franchisees agreed to pay $700,000 after being sued for falsely advertising food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary law.
McDonald's and Finley's Management Co. settled with Dearborn Heights, Mich., resident Ahmed Ahmed, a Detroit health clinic, and the Arab American National Museum.
Ahmed's attorney, Kassem Dakhlallah, sayd he's "thrilled" with the deal; McDonald's and Finley's deny any liability but say the settlement is in their best interests.
The lawsuit alleged that Ahmed bought a chicken sandwich at a Dearborn McDonald's but found it wasn't halal - i.e. did not meet Islamic food preparation requirements.
Islam forbids the consumption of pork, and God's name must be invoked before any animal providing meat for human consumption is slaughtered.
Dakhlallah said only two U.S. McDonald's feature halal products and recipes; both in Dearborn, which has one of the nation's largest Arab and Muslim communities.
The locations advertise halal Chicken Selects, McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches, and must secure those products from an approved halal provider.
He said there was no evidence of problems on the production side, but alleges that one Dearborn location sold non-halal products when it ran out of halal.
Dakhlallah was approached by Ahmed, and they conducted an investigation; a lengthy legal back-and-forth ultimately resulted in the $700K settlement.