Burger King And Ex-Soldier Conflict: Burger King Asks For Lawyers Fees, Magistrate Agrees

Burger King and a retired solider and battling it out in court. The Inquisitr reported in June about a story involving a soldier and his encounter with a needle-filled Burger King stacker.

“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.”

What seemed like an open and shut lawsuit turned problematic when Burger King fought back, arguing that they did not bear responsibility.

“We do not feel there is any merit to the claim,” explained attorney Grant Kidani, the lawyer representing Burger King.

Their claim is that because the Burger King was located in the soldier’s barracks on Honolulu, the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange should have to pony up the dough.

U.S. government attorneys representing the Army and Air Force Exchange filed a motion to dismiss the case. The motion essentially stated that the ex-soldier suffered his injuries during the course of military service. The problem with this analysis is that the soldier, Mr. Bartholomew, was home sick when he received the Burger King stacker that contained the needles.

The ex-soldier is medically retired in Virginia and has not commented, though his wife, Tanya, expressed her disgust. She explained Bartholomew’s military service in Iraq, and how he went to fight after 9/11. He was actually a federal police officer assigned to the Pentagon the day of the attack. She states that his service in Iraq, where he injured his back in his two tours, has nothing to do with him eating Burger King.

USA Today reports that a federal magistrate ruled on Thursday that the ex-solider must pay for Burger King’s lawyer fees and costs. They filed a motion for sanctions, and U.S Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi agreed. However, when Burger King asked for a full dismissal of charges, Magistrate Puglisi said it was “too harsh.”


The reason for Burger King’s motion is because the ex-soldier did not appear before the court for a settlement hearing in Honolulu. Bartholomew, as mentioned, is a retired soldier living in Virginia. According to ABC News, the former soldier said in a declaration that he had just started a new job as a park police dispatcher, and could not take the time off to fly to Honolulu for the date set. Also, his lawyers stated that Burger King has not taken the whole case very seriously to begin with.

A presiding district judge still needs to approve the magistrate’s ruling, and the ex-soldiers lawyers are considering an appeal, should it stick. According to ABC News, one of his lawyers spoke out about the ruling.

“This is the judge’s ruling and he’s a good judge. We disagree with him on this. My client was back there trying to work. He’s an injured war veteran. Perhaps it was a bad decision, but he just couldn’t get here.”

The attorney representing Burger King has not commented. Burger King was ordered by the magistrate to let him know by this Friday about the amounts spent related to the settlement. After receiving the information, he will then give an amended fixed amount.

[Image via Earthlink Photo Album]