A Chicago-area man recently attempted to sue McDonald’s, alleging that his civil rights were violated when the eatery called the cops after he became angry because he didn’t receive the free burgers he’d been promised. But the judge in the case basically said that if he didn’t want the cops called, he shouldn’t have gotten so upset over a cheeseburger.
This all goes back to November 2009, when the plaintiff originally took his kids to McDonald’s, only to find out that the cheeseburgers he’d purchased were missing the beef.
Angry about his kids’ “inability to consume their cheeseburger lunch,” the plaintiff complained and claims that the manager not only apologized, but also said that the plaintiff’s name would go on a comp meal list for his next visit.
But when he went back a couple days later, the woman at the drive-thru knew nothing about this and would not initially comp the meal for the plaintiff.
The employee is alleged to have told the man, “Sir, if you don’t lower your voice I’m going to call the police.”
In the end, she both gave him the free meal and called the police, because as the customer attempted to drive away, police cars pulled into the parking lot and stopped him.
The customer was asked for ID — an act the plaintiff claims is tantamount to being placed into police custody — and then cited for disorderly conduct.
The plaintiff claims that, because of his race, a judge would not issue a summary dismissal on the citation. This led to a lawsuit naming the fast food chain, McDonald’s employees, the city of Berwyn, IL, and individual cops for false arrest, malicious prosecution and violations of his equal-protection rights.
But the U.S. District Court judge in the case wasn’t convinced of the merits of the case.
“The second amended complaint is devoid of allegations that plausibly suggest an unequal treatment.. because of his race,” wrote the judge, saying that the plaintiff “fails to provide any justification for acting in such an unruly manner and breaching the peace at a restaurant open to the public, regardless of whether, as he claims, he was being denied a complimentary cheeseburger.”
McDonald’s Didn’t Treat ‘Unruly’ Patron Badly [Courthousenews.com]