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Happy Meals lawsuit: Consumer group sues McDonald's over toys

A consumer group is suing McDonald's, claiming that Happy Meals toys induce children to make unhealthy eating decisions.

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This Nov. 8 file photo shows a Happy Meal at a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco. In the foreground is a toy included with the meal: a character from the movie 'Megamind.' San Francisco was the first major American city to require meals meet nutritional standards before they can offer toys.

Eric Risberg / AP / File

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A California mother and The Center for Science in the Public Interest have sued McDonald's Corp. trying to get the fast-food chain to stop using toys to market meals to young children.

The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco on Wednesday morning.

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They claim McDonald's decision to markets its meals directly to young children violates several consumer protection laws because it exploits a child's vulnerability.

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McDonald's is facing increased scrutiny for the practice. San Francisco recently became the first city to prohibit fast-food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that don't meet nutritional guidelines. A similar ordinance was passed in Santa Clara County.