Oh, the lucrative world of lawsuits. In America, it’s your right to seek monetary vengeance on those who have done you wrong. Whether it be that severed finger you placed deliberately in your chili at Wendy’s or maybe your unsupervised kid almost drowning in the ball pit at Chuck E Cheese.
While, I’d stay up past my bedtime to watch a network procedural drama revolving around the world of petty, corporate giants suing the pants off of each other, if it was about consumers coming up with outlandish reasons to sick a lawyer on said companies, well, that show would be guaranteed stellar ratings and a long run.
In the world of Fast Food, nobody is safe. Here are but a scant few of the deluge of lawsuits launched in the name of frivolity, borne from carelessness, stupidity or big business greed.
WHAT? DON’T EAT & DRIVE?
John Carter, a New Jersey resident sued McDonald’s for not putting up clearly visible signage reminding their drive thru clientele not to consume & drive, after being hit by another vehicle stemming from Chocolate Shake Shock.
Apparently the fast food scarfing operator of the offending car had propped said shake between his legs. Upon reaching for his greasy sack of McGoodness sitting in the passenger seat, he inadvertently Thigh Mastered the cup, resulting in a frozen dairy explosion in his lap. The sudden shock of crotch freeze resulted in the car veering into Mr. Carter.
The court threw the lawsuit out calling it frivolous and noting that McDonald’s has no legal responsibility for reminding drivers what should be considered common sense.
KALE TRUMPS ILLITERATE COWS?
One day, Vermont-based folk artist named Bo Muller-Moore received a cease and desist order from fast food chicken giant Chick-Fil-A. It seems they were concerned that his grass roots based t-shirts for sale suggesting people “Eat More Kale” would confuse consumers with the Chick’s wildly successful “Eat Mor Chikin” marketing campaign featuring a trio of worried cows.
For those of you who have tasted kale, there really can be no confusion in the matter. Kale is not the new chicken. It’s not even the new brussel sprout.
Now a full fledged lawsuit, the fact Muller-Moore lives in a state known for kale production & in the grand scheme of things, is decidedly small potatoes, has not deterred Chick-Fil-A from protecting their cash cow advertising campaign.
CARL JR’S TO JACK IN THE BOX: WE DON’T DO ANUS
Back in 2007, Jack in the Box launched an over the top ad campaign for their new line of sirloin burgers. In the ads, it was alluded to that Angus beef, served by many of the top fast food restaurants at the time, may be a cut of meat that originates from a very unsavory part of the cow.
Carl’s Jr launched a lawsuit immediately, citing the campaign was misleading the pubic into thinking that Jack in the Box’s new Sirloin Burger was of better quality meat than the Angus beef used by Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s (owned by the same parent company) and further to that, the common burger buyer was being led to believe sirloin (a cut of meat found on all cattle) was the same as Angus (a breed of cattle).
McPIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY
A California woman has launched a lawsuit against McDonald’s claiming the fast food giant turned her into a prostitute. Shelley Lynn claims Rotten Ronnie’s didn’t protect her against ‘predatory’ ex-husband & former boss Keith Handley, who hired her 30 years ago at his franchise in Arroyo Grande, before they started dating a few years later.
She named McDonald’s in the lawsuit due to the company not providing protection or policies for female workers when it came to predatory bosses. She claims Handley forced her out of employment at the McDonald’s so she was put in a situation where she couldn’t say no to his demands.
Lynn claims she ended up in Vegas, pressured by Handley into trying to keep the home he had bought for her, ultimately coerced /forced into prostitution at a local brothel, to make ends meet.
BK SERVES POT WHOPPERS TO COPPERS
Two police officers from New Mexico sued Burger King back in 2006 for personal injury, negligence, battery and violation of fair practices, seeking unspecified damages along with legal costs.
After getting halfway through their burger, they discovered traces of what, after a field test confirmed was marijuana. Three Burger King employees were arrested and charged shortly after.
The kicker? The cops were in uniform and driving a marked police cruiser when served the weed Whoppers.
Martin Kessman, a 290 pound New York stockbroker sued White Castle because its seating couldn’t accommodate his girth. A federal lawsuit filed in 2011 claimed that in April 2009, Kessman smacked his knee into a metal post while trying to wedge himself into the stationary seating at a White Castle in Nanuet, N.Y. near where he lives.
After admitting he has enjoying the tasty Sliders for more then 52 years, he was emotionally dismayed after he started having to send his wife for sacks of said burgers, as to avoid the embarrassment and physical strain of trying to “Dine In”.
The lawsuit was launched after letters sent to White Castle corporate resulted in false promises of renovations being made to the restaurant and a few coupons for free burgers. “But the cheese was extra” noted Kessman.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT? THEY’LL McSUE YOU
Want a few samples of how overprotective McDonald’s gets when it comes to the famous “Mc”portion of the company trademark name? Here are just a few lawsuits launched by the Golden Arches lawyers against small business owners.
- Pursuing a 26-year legal action against a man named Ronald McDonald and his Illinois restaurant (opened in 1956).
- In 1994, McDonald’s succesfully forced Elizabeth McCaughey of the San Francisco Bay Area, to change the trading name of her coffeeshop McCoffee, which had operated under that name for 17 years.
- In 1994, McDonald’s sued a restaurant in Kingston, Jamaica, because of trademark infringement, although it had opened in 1971, well before McDonald’s entered the Jamaican market.
- In 1996, McDonald’s lost a legal battle at the Danish Supreme Court to force Allan Pedersen, a mincemeat sandwich vendor, to drop his shop name McAllan.
- In 1996, forced Scottish sandwich shop owner Mary Blair of Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire to drop McMunchies as her trading name.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS: SLIPNOT VS BK
Why did Slipnot cross the road? To sue Burger King of course!
Claiming that its image and persona had been blatantly copied as part of a marketing campaign for Burger King’s new chicken fries, the costumed heavy metal band Slipknot threatened the fast food giant with legal action.
Burger King then filed a lawsuit against Slipnot seeking a judgment that their use of the mock metal band, Coq Roq, did not violate any rights, including rights of publicity or trademark rights” of Slipknot.
The one true loser in this entire debacle being anyone who tried BK Chicken Fries.