Rockland County resident Martin Kessman is suing White Castle under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he was unable to fit into his local establishment’s booths. Forbes reports that Kessman, who is 290 lbs., is filing the suit after two separate trips to the Nanuet, New York White Castle. Mr. Kessman says he is being discriminated against because of his Rubenesque frame. Litigious and obese? Let’s put this man on the dollar bill.
In April 2009, Mr. Kessman went to his local White Castle and ordered a #2 meal (according to White Castle’s website, this includes two double cheeseburgers, medium French fries, and a small drink). Mr. Kessman says he has eaten at White Castle since 1959, but on this day he noticed the Nanuet restaurant only featured booth-style seating. He couldn’t fit into the booths, so he sent multiple complaints to the company about this predicament.
They told him that they were in the process of renovating their restaurants’ seating, but Mr. Kessman deemed their replies unsatisfactory. One response from White Castle, writes Mr. Kessman in a final letter to the company before he filed suit, included “a coupon for three free hamburgers-but cheese was extra!!” [Exclamation Mr. Kessman’s] He then made his wife redeem the coupons, but they had to pay for the cheese out of pocket.
The final straw was when Mr. Kessman visited the Nanuet White Castle with some friends (at his friends’ behest, he specifies). The restaurant had not changed the seating, and when he tried to squeeze into a booth he hit his knee on a metal post under the table. Naturally, this prompted him to file a complaint on September 7th citing “violations of his civil rights.”
A White Castle spokesperson told Forbes that every one of their restaurants has folding chairs reserved and that any customer can request one.
While the criminally underworked American legal system reviews Mr. Kessman’s case, we offer the performance of “We Shall Overcome” as a reminder that injustice at any White Castle is a threat to justice at every White Castle.