A Burger King customer is suing the fast-food chain for allegedly reneging on its promise of a lifetime supply of free meals to compensate for enduring more than an hour locked in a foul-smelling bathroom.
After finding himself trapped inside a bathroom at a Burger King in Portland, Oregon, in mid-December, Curtis Brooner used his cell phone to call workers at the fast-food restaurant for help, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
The workers responded by pushing a fly swatter under the door, directing Brooner to use it to unjam the door's lock, the suit contends. "Brooner could hear Burger King employees and customers laughing while he remained locked inside its bathroom for well over an hour before a locksmith finally came and broke him out," according to the legal filing.
"It's the kind of place where you hold your breath: Go in and get out of there as fast as you can," Brooner told The Oregonian/OregonLive of his ordeal. "That wasn't an option for me."
Brooner described himself as too shaken to immediately leave the restaurant, telling the local newspaper that employees gave him a bandage and some ointment for a cut sustained in the incident. A manager apologized and told him he'd no longer have to pay for his meals.
That verbal agreement reportedly remained in play for 13 consecutive days, but came to an abrupt end on Dec. 28, when he was told a district manager had nixed the endless freebie.
Brooner, 50, is seeking $9,026 — the estimated cost of eating one $7.89 Whopper meal a week for the next 22 years.
"This may seem like a story right out of an episode of 'Seinfeld,'" Brooner's attorney, Michael Fuller, told the Willamette Week. "But we have evidence to support our claim. And a deal is a deal."
Burger King did not respond to a request for comment.