Happy National Hamburger Day: 3 Crazy Burger Lawsuits

Posted on 12-21-2015 by
Tags: litigation , Trending News & Topics


Happy National Burger Day! What better way to celebrate this delicious holiday than to chow down on some ridiculous court cases involving some notable burger joints. I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate and Entrepreneur.com helped out with these fast-food lawsuits. Take a look at what they had to say regarding some of the most-notable burger empires:

Burger King

The case: A New York woman sued Burger King about 20 years ago because a 1 of its’ stores, which was 3 blocks from her home, sold a large soda for 89 cents, while another location that was just a bit farther sold the same item for 20 cents less.

The result: Burger King won the case despite not appearing in court, a move that generally increases the chances of losing the case.


White Castle

The case: According to the New York Post, Martin Kessman hurt his knee while attempting to sit in a booth that was too narrow for him. He left the store and wrote letters to the corporate headquarters. White Castle responded with 3 letters in a tone that Kessman believed to be “very condescending.” He said each letter had a coupon for 3 free burgers (though he would have to pay extra if he wanted cheese on them). When White Castle sat on its promise to renovate seating for more than 2 years, Kressman filed a suit in 2011.

The result: In a follow-up story, the New York Post reported that Kessman dropped his claim after the offending location added free-standing chairs, allowing the stockbroker and others with similar needs to sit and eat their food comfortably.



The case: In 1992, a 79-year-old Stella Liebeck, from Albuquerque, N.M., spilled a cup of McDonald’s coffee on her lap. The beverage was so hot that it put her in the hospital for seven days with third-degree burns on her inner thighs, groin and buttocks. This article explains that when she contacted the company to see if they’d reimburse her for her medical bills, the leaders of the Golden Arches took her to court. The case lasted a week, though by the time the case went to trial it was 1994.

The result: The jury originally awarded Liebeck $160,000 for compensatory damages and an additional $2.7 million for punitive damages. The judge would later reduce the amount for punitive damages to $480,000. This wouldn’t satisfy either side and both parties appealed the decision. The matter would eventually be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. A similar case was filed by another woman earlier this year.

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