Burger King is being sued by former Army soldier Clark Bartholomew after he bit in to a Triple Stacker and got a nasty surprise, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Bartholomew alleges that he bit into needles in a sandwich purchased at Hawaii’s Schofield Barracks. After negotiations over a possible settlement for the 2010 incident broke down, the case is now set for trial in August.
Clark Bartholomew and family sued in a federal court in Honolulu after he said he was injured on the central Oahu base. The lawsuit states that one needle pierced his tongue when he bit into the sandwich. A second needle was lodged in his small intestine, and required hospitalization.
Burger King isn’t backing down, however, noting that the US Army and Air Force Exchange should bear the responsibility.
“We don’t feel there’s any merit in the claims,” Grant Kidani, a Honolulu attorney representing the restaurant, said Monday, adding that the franchise is “totally operated by the government.”
According to the AP, a spokesman for the exchange referred questions to the assistant US attorney handling the case; their responses have not been answered at this time.
“In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, government attorneys argued that Bartholomew can’t sue because he suffered his injuries during the course of military service,” the report states, adding that J. Michael Seabright, a US District Judge, “refused to throw out the case.”
In an April 2013 order, Seabright said that Bartholomew was “at home on base Dec. 1, 2010” because of back pain, when his wife brought him a value meal.
“Eating a Burger King Triple Whopper (equally available to the military or general public) while at home on a sick day does not implicate military command or discipline,” Seabright said.
While the 46-year-old, medically retired and living in Chantilly, Virginia, hasn’t issued comment, his wife Tanya has plenty to say.
“I’m very disgusted [by the lack of settlement],” she said. “I think we’re more irritated than anything. We’re not in Hawaii, so now we have to spend even more money to fly to Hawaii to have a trial when everyone agrees someone screwed up.”
She also called the argument that the injuries were due to military service “disgusting.”
“Him going to war in Iraq has nothing to do with him going to Burger King,” she said. Bartholomew was a federal police officer assigned to the Pentagon on 9/11. Following the terrorist attacks that day, he enlisted in the Army and served two tours in Iraq, which is where he received his back injuries.
Do you think Burger King should settle, or does the military deserve the brunt of responsibility for what happened to this veteran?
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]