Man who sued Burger King agrees deal that guarantees free Whopper meal every week for the next 22 years
Whenever the little guy takes on an industry giant and wins, it’s a cause for celebration. Even if the original complaint was insanely petty, or just plain daft, there’s something indescribably satisfying about watching a big company forced to reach into its pockets. At the very least, it gives the rest of us hope that we aren’t all slaves to the corporate machine.
Last month, a man made headlines across the world when he brought a suit to fast food behemoths Burger King, accusing them of reneging on a very special deal. Curtis Broomer, of Portland, Oregon, claimed in late December 2018 that the chain had promised him free food for life after he had become accidentally locked in the toilet of his local outlet.
From these auspicious beginnings, the story spiralled into an emotional rollercoaster. Broomer described how, unable to escape, he had heard restaurant staff laughing at him through the locked door. In a panic, he cut his hand on the locked door. When he finally broke free, the managerial team offered him free food for life by way of compensation. He thought the ordeal was over.
However, after a few weeks of free burgers, Broomer was suddenly and inexplicably turned away. The restaurant manager informed him that “they could no longer honour the arrangement, as it hadn’t been officially cleared” by the necessary authorities. An angry Broomer immediately decided to file a suit calculated for the cost of one Whopper meal a week for 22 years - precisely $9,026. For several weeks the story went quiet.
Now however, it has emerged that, despite the best efforts of Burger King’s substantial legal team, Broomer’s suit has been successful. According to reporting in The Takeout the company were presented with two options: either provide the promised food or settle for the money. In a surprising turn of events, they chose the latter.
Speaking to the assembled media in the aftermath of the incident, Curtis Broomer’s lawyer, Mr Michael Fuller rather hyperbolically declared that “Our long national nightmare is over,” before revealing, “Today Burger King agreed to pay our client's demand in exchange for the dismissal of his lawsuit." Fuller also added that, “"Burger King makes no admission of liability and disputes our client's claims. Nonetheless, Burger King has agreed to pay our client $9,026.16, which will allow him to buy one Burger King Whopper Meal per week for the rest of his life."
When asked for an assessment of the case by local paper “The Willamette Week”, Burger King initially refused to comment, perhaps indicating a desire to leave the whole sorry PR disaster far behind them. There are a couple of things that we can all learn from this case. Firstly, getting locked in a bathroom may end up being much more worthwhile than you would think. Secondly, even if it means taking on a world-famous business, it’s always worth avenging your honour. As used as we are to being browbeaten by the big dogs, sometimes stories can have a happy ending.