Settlement Ends 4-Year Dispute About Spit In Burger King Customer’s Whopper Jr.

A non-spitty Whopper Jr. (Morton Fox)

A non-spitty Whopper Jr. (Morton Fox)

In Nov. 2008, an Ohio man says he stopped into a Pennsylvania Burger King and got something a little extra on his Whopper Jr. — a dollop of employee spit. He subsequently sued the franchisee who operates the restaurant, alleging the incident was racially motivated. Well, the matter has finally been settled without going to trial.

The Erie Times-News reports that even though the terms of the settlement were not made public, lawyers for both sides of the case say the lawsuit has been “resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.”

The plaintiff, a truck driver, alleged that while he was waiting for his sandwich at the Burger King, he saw a BK employee take the Whopper Jr, turn his back to the counter, and unwrap the sandwich. This is when he says the spitting occurred.

He claimed that the restaurant’s manager wasn’t merely complicit in the incident, he actually stood by the accused spitter in an attempt to shield his actions from being seen by the customer.

When the customer got back to his truck he noticed the Whopper Jr smelled “disgusting” and seemed “extra wet.”

Tests by the PA State Police confirmed there was saliva on the inside and outside of the burger, but no DNA testing was done because someone threw the sandwich out before it could be tested.

The franchisee argued that there was no evidence that this employee actually spat on the burger, and if he did it was because he is immature, not because the customer is a black man. The franchisee also attempted to claim that, regardless of whether he did spit and whatever his motivations might be, it was not responsible for the actions of the employee.

But the U.S. District Court judge hearing the case said in 2011 that there was enough evidence for the case to head to a jury trial, which was ultimately set to begin on Jan. 14.

That has now been averted by the settlement.

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