An Oregon man who sued Burger King after he said they broke their promise of free meals for life to make up for him being trapped for more than an hour in one of their bathrooms will receive a little more than $9,000 in a settlement.
Within 30 days, 50-year-old Curtis Brooner will receive a check for $9,026.16, the full amount he sought, his attorney Michael Fuller said. It should be enough to buy a Whopper meal once a week until he is 72.
Brooner determined $9,026.16 was the value of the lifetime supply of Burger King meals he was promised and also factored in the average life span of an American man, the attorney said.
The lawsuit was filed in January in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Fuller said the terms of the settlement were discussed over the last week and completed Monday. The lawsuit was dismissed the same day, records show.
“Burger King did the right thing,” Fuller said. “They could have dragged this out for years and we’re glad they didn’t. (Brooner) still likes Burger King, he just doesn’t go to their bathroom anymore.”
Burger King denied liability and disputes Brooner’s claims despite the settlement, Fuller said.
Brooner told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the lock on the bathroom door at the Wood Village burger joint jammed when he tried leaving Dec. 15 after eating his meal. When he couldn’t get the door open, he called a number on his receipt for help, but the summoned employees couldn’t get him out from the outside.
Brooner described the restroom as, “the kind of place where you hold your breath: Go in and get out of there as fast as you can.”
Employees slid him a fly swatter and a plastic-edged card to help, but none of it worked and he cut himself while trying, he said. He was later freed by a locksmith.
Brooner said Burger King workers gave him a bandage, ointment, an apology and a promise from the manager that he could eat there for free anytime. He said he ate there for free over the next 13 days, but was then told by the company Dec. 28 that they weren’t going to honor the deal.
As the lawsuit was pending, Brooner went to three other Burger King restaurants other than the one he was trapped in on Northeast 238th Drive, Fuller said. The lawyer said he advised Brooner not to return to that Burger King because of the suit, but said it’s likely he’ll return now that the legal proceedings are over.
There’s nothing stopping Brooner from using the money to buy burgers at other fast food chains, but Fuller said Brooner is partial to the home of the Whopper.
— Everton Bailey Jr.
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