Updated Feb. 12, 2019: Willamette Week is reporting a satisfying, juicy, Whopper-of-a-conclusion to this story: The lawyer for Curtis Brooner announced that Burger King has agreed to settle the lawsuit with his client for $9,026, or the cost of a Whopper meal every week for the next 22 years. According to WW, Portland lawyer Michael Fuller—who represented Brooner—said of the resolution: “Our long national nightmare is over.”
Original Jan. 3, 2019 post: Curtis Brooner has not had it his way, and he is not lovin’ it. So now, he’s suing.
Inc. draws our attention to this story from The Oregonian, and to Brooner’s suit, which the paper posted online. The lawsuit alleges that that a Wood Village, Oregon BK promised Brooner free meals for life on December 15, and that it has since revoked that promise. The reason for the generous offer is this: Broomer was trapped in the King’s bathroom for more than an hour, during which he was told to try to break out using a fly swatter. It didn’t work, and he cut himself in the process.
The 50-year-old is seeking damages totaling $9,026.16, the estimated cost of one Whopper meal a week for the next 22 years.
Here’s his experience on December 15, as detailed in the suit:
When Mr. Brooner pulled on the door handle to leave the bathroom, the door would not open. After repeatedly pulling hard on the door handle without success, Mr. Brooner took out his phone and called the Burger King number listed on his receipt. Burger King employees repeatedly tried pushing on the bathroom door but were unable to open it. Burger King employees eventually slid a fly swatter under the bathroom door and told Mr. Brooner to use it to pry the bathroom door lock open. Despite eventually cutting his hand attempting to use the fly swatter on the lock, the bathroom door would not open. Mr. 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. Burger King provided Mr. Brooner a Band-Aid and ointment for the cut on his hand, and offered to settle in exchange for a lifetime supply of Burger King meals at no cost.
Per The Oregonian, Brooner, who said he visited Burger King nearly every day prior to the incident, took advantage of the pledge until December 28. With the exception of December 24 and 25, he ate there daily from December 15-28, and ate both breakfast and dinner on two separate occasions. But when he arrived on the 28th, he was informed that the promise had been revoked by “district management.”
Brooner is asking that the restaurant reinstate the promise or pay for his one meal a week for 22 years (which, we assume, is his best guess as to how long the 50-year-old will be able to stand to eat Burger King daily). The suit argues that the restaurant was negligent, in that the restroom “showed signs of damage caused by other people who had previously been locked inside the bathroom.”
As Brooner told The Oregonian, “They created an unsafe environment... Someone could have had a medical situation. You could have had a fatality. You could have had a child locked in there, someone elderly. They are lucky it was me.”
The Oregonian’s well-reported story concludes with this:
Court records show Brooner was convicted in 1994 of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree sexual penetration for crimes committed in 1992 in Multnomah County. He was sentenced to about 6 1/2 years in prison and a requirement to register as a sex offender, which he says is for life. Brooner said the convictions are 25 years old and he’s lived a law-abiding life with no convictions since then.
Not a fun note on which to end. Regardless, one should probably avoid promising free food for life to anyone, even somebody who got trapped in a smelly bathroom, if one has not checked with one’s district manager.