If Only White Castle Had Comped the Cheese


File this under Bitter Lawyer’s lawsuit of the week. A New York man brought a civil rights claim against White Castle last week, claiming the restaurant chain made him fat did not reasonably accommodate his own White Castle legacy. While the complaint really doesn’t say what disability or impairment the man has, you can infer it is one of two things: 1) he is a large man or 2) he attends both Yankees and Mets games. It may be a combination of both, but from what we can best determine it’s a claim of being too big to fit into a White Castle restaurant booth.

Before we get started, here’s the complaint to review. As a tip, skip over the legal mumbo jumbo and go straight to the exhibits, a series of letters between the plaintiff and White Castle. Here’s the pertinent text of the plaintiff’s letter, which lays out the origin of the dispute:

On approximately April 20, 2009 I stopped into the White Castle in Nanuet, New York to have a fast meal before I went to see a client and ordered my traditional #2 combination. I got my meal and went to sit down; I could not slide into the booth-style seating that was there– that was embarrassing enough as there were a lot of people looking at my predicament. As I looked around the restaurant, I saw that there were no tables and chairs that could accommodate a person that merely wanted to sit down and eat his meaL I am 6 Feet and weigh 290 pounds–I played football, fly on regular airlines and attend Yankee and Met games!

White Castle sent back letters in response, which apparently made matters worse for the plaintiff, who appeared insulted, and for good reason:

The corporate letters had the nerve to send me a list of White Castles nationwide so I could see which ones had been renovated up to scale. What a joke!!!! Furthermore, to smoothe [sic] things over, in each letter was a coupon for three free hamburgers -but cheese was extra!! How nice can you be? My wife went and picked up the burgers -she paid the surcharge for the cheese and brought them home for us to share, because I did not want to set foot into the store. Any subsequent trips to the store have been made by my wife -I have been like an outcast.

We have a question about the legal merits that we’ll present to readers, but here’s a simple lesson and some free legal counsel to you corporate bubs out there. When you get a written complaint that uses the term “redress” and has more than five exclamation points along with it, comp the cheese. Just give the guy the cheese. Honestly, you already know he’s been ordering the White Castle #2 sack meal for 52 years, which consists of two double cheeseburgers, a medium fry and a small drink. Why would you comp him three hamburgers without cheese? That’s just a federal lawsuit waiting to happen.

As to the merits, well, cheese may not be the only thing missing, but we cannot quite put our hands on it. It’s like our mind is disabled or something, like we’re impaired. Anyway, pretend it’s Monday (which it is). A partner walks into your office, hands you the file of Kessman v. White Castle, and says “get rid of it.” What do you do?

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.

15 Comments

  1. Ellen

    September 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

    If true, I feel bad this person may have a large tuches that made it hard to get into the seat, but is that actioneble at law?

    Their must be some other legal sholars that can opine on this. I should NOT have to be the smartest one in the room. Fooey!

    • hotlawstudent

      September 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Oh trust, Ellen, that you are definitely NOT the smartest one in the room. Spell check, anyone??? I have serious doubts that you even hold a JD.

  2. Alan T.

    September 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Maybe he’s suing for the “surcharge” on the upgrade to cheeseburger.

  3. Michelle Beth

    September 12, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Counter sue him with slander per se. He is in effect stating White Castle is incompetent at their business for its failure to charge extra for the space taken by this gravitational-challenged person in its restaurants.

    • Larry

      September 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Do you think this guy wants to pay more for the space? I don’t think so. He just wants to have good food and the space to eat it.

      • Michelle Beth

        September 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        Duh! How could you post such a dumb comment ?
        Do you think your mother is a male? I don’t think so. But you could counter sue her for being a male and therefore an unfit mom if she sues you for being a moron and therefore an unfit child, no?

        • EVAR

          September 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm

          You seem very tense. Perhaps an investment of $18.99 for a wireless vibrator is the best option for you, as I would guess that no guy would want to use his own member in order to pacify you.

          • Michelle Beth

            September 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm

            You are pathetic !! If that’s all you could manage to retort with your little fucked head, please don’t waste any more resources on this planet earth. Kill yourself.

  4. Henry B

    September 12, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I think the lawyer went to NYU.

  5. Evil Lawyer

    September 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I am tired of whiners like that. As a porker, does he not know his place?
    He’s seen too many movies where the outcast student is finally recognized as a nice person and is mysteriously alllowed to be part of the cheerleaders/jocks inner circle. That isn’t real life, baby.

    Write him this letter and send it tot he New York Times:

    “Dear Fatso:

    We understand that your paunchy protuberance cannot be squeezed, pushed or jammed into any of our tables. Unlike the airlines we can’t charge you for two seats to accomodate your ponderous ass. Nor are we going to move tables to “accomodate” you. Hitchcock’s belly sliding into a siloutte was classy. You sliding into a booth is gross. Porkers like you that use more water to wash, more food to sustain and more space on a subway than everyone else need to know their limits. Our establishment has its limits and you are one of them. Your footprint and gut print are too BIG .

    If you think EEOC will represnt you AND your stomach, feel free. “

    • Michelle Beth

      September 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Amen. White Castle is not being prudent business-wise for not charging this fatso for the extra space, and he should not be allowed to sit on any of the chairs unless he signs a waiver for assumption of risk should he fall on his ass after breaking the chair.

      • EVAR

        September 13, 2011 at 7:58 am

        Stop trying to nuzzle up to a guy.

        No one is interested in your concurrance, or for that matter, your nether regions.

        • Michelle Beth

          September 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

          Virginia Dentata,

          Where are you? This EVAR little dickhead needs to hook up with you to get over his PSTD from women.

          • Guano Dubango

            September 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

            Is this same woman as Virginia Dentata?

            I say Yes. Both are very bitter, and likely very anti-male. I vote Yes.

        • Evil Lawyer

          September 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

          I don’t know EVAR, she seems sharp, writes well and unlike Ellen, and you too for that matter, she can spell.

          She doesn’t like fat people trying to use their protruding stomachs as a basis for victimhood. She seems to care about fat people ruining furniture–or amking it unsafe for anyone else to sit on. Thats a nice change from the tiresome and trendy worrying about whales, smelly homeless people, battered women who cut off their husband’s penises over some fight, and endless parades of non-english speaking asylum seekers to the US claming that their host countries won’t let them sleep with sheep, etc . How do I know she’s not hot too?

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