Life

Kit Kats, Mozzarella Sticks, And More Food Fails That Got Litigious

On Monday, the world of commercial candy products was rocked when Nestle was publicly called out for providing a 20-year-old college student a package of Kit Kats that wasn’t up to par. Forget the fact that they didn’t gold-plate it, there weren’t even any wafers. But while others might be satisfied to just idly complain on Twitter, Saima Ahmad has boldly (and righteously) demanded that Kit Kat provide her with a lifetime supply of chocolate. If they don’t, she said she might just sue — which quickly prompted responses of “that’s outrageous” and “don’t these young people have anything better to do with their lives?” until everyone realized that Ahmad’s threats were just a teensy bit tongue-in-cheek.

But Kit Kat Gate did get us thinking: Is Ahmad’s lawsuit the wackiest food-related lawsuit threat we’ve ever seen? Not by a longshot. It isn’t even the wackiest suit this week —  McDonald’s is now getting sued for their cheese-less mozzarella sicks.

Here are five more lawsuits that tried to take on big food and beverage:

The Man Who Sued because He Got Burned While Praying Over Fajitas At Applebee’s

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Let’s be real: Applebee’s is delicious. But it’s also all sorts of dangerous. They’ve got hot soups, hot chocolate syrup, and definitely hot fajitas (which literally come to you on a sizzling platter which the server still reminds you is going to be “a little hot”). But some people just don’t listen, like a New Jersey man who bowed his head in prayer over his sizzling fajitas and got burned as a result.

Here’s what happened:

The man said he bowed his head, then heard a loud sizzle followed by a grease pop. He then felt a burning sensation in his left eye and on his face.

The man said he panicked and knocked the food on his lap, causing more burns. The burns didn’t cause scarring.

Seeing his opportunity to own the entire chain, the man sued for damages (prayers answered!) and lost. And then appellate court upheld the decision, pointing out that even if a server didn’t warn him that the food was hot, it was an “open and obvious danger.” That means that the smoke emanating from the meat and vegetables the guy was about to enjoy should have been enough warning to not get his face all up in it. You know what would be great? If the judge had handed down the ruling with the statement “if you can’t handle the heat, don’t order the fajitas.”


The Woman Who Demanded $100,000 Because Her Solitary Valentine’s Day Dinner Just Wasn’t What She Expected

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Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year in the restaurant world. Therefore, it’s totally understandable why a single person dining out alone might feel just a teensy bit crushed while eating garlic bread for one in a romantic Italian eatery. One brave woman, Oregon’s Kathleen Hampton, took a stand after Enzo’s Italian restaurant in Portland did her wrong.

According to Hampton, who went on every news station she could find to speak out about the injustice that she’d been dealt, she’d made a reservation for two but her husband was “too full from lunch” (possible code for “could not stand to be around her”) to accompany her. Apparently having a Coke would have been too much to ask. So she went alone and it did not go well:

She alleges that, as she sat alone at the table for two, no-one would take her order. Hampton also claims that she was left feeling “crushed” after being asked to give up the table.

When she allegedly asked to have her food to go, she was then reportedly told they “don’t do take out.”

For Hampton that was it. She spent the next day in tears before deciding that the only way to fix her situation was by suing for 100 grand and demanding public apologies in person, on TV, and in the media. Does Enzo’s have a Twitter? She’d probably want an apology there, too.

Of course, the restaurant says something completely different happened. According to them, Hampton took up valuable space for two when she showed up with half her party missing, refused to sit where other single diners were being seated, and then walked out of the restaurant after drinking two glasses of wine and not paying for them. Her lawsuit was quickly dismissed, but Enzo’s is still feeling a little raw about what happened. We called the restaurant to see if they’d ever apologized or had seen Hampton since and were helpfully informed that “this is information that can’t be shared,” before being asked “WHO ARE YOU?” very loudly by an irate Italian man and being wished a good day.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Denied Sprouts

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Many of us know the mild disappointment of not getting the correct order or being shorted an item or ingredient we know we asked for. Those of us who are able to handle these mild setbacks generally move on, maybe even laugh about it later. A woman in Los Angeles, however, was so incensed that the sandwich she ordered from Jimmy John’s didn’t have sprouts on it that she tried to sue the restaurant for false advertising and, inexplicably, fraud. Over sprouts. Sprouts! Who the hell cares that much about sprouts? There’s not even a principle there. Sprouts taste like nothing! They feel like eating spiders!

Heather Starks, the plaintiff in this case, didn’t get the rich payday she might have hoped for, but Jimmy John’s did apologize and started offering vouchers for free drinks and sides to anyone who had been wronged by not being able to enjoy sprouts on their sandwich. But it didn’t end there. Not only did the chain agree to “cease and desist” advertising sprouts unless they specifically come on a sandwich, but they donated approximately $100,000 to charity just to try to smooth things over. Don’t know how that’s going to help, but good for whichever charities benefitted!

 

The Man Who Sued A Beer Company Because Drinking Bud Light Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Hunk

Meet Richard Overton, a gentleman who sued Anheuser-Busch for false advertising in 1991. Now he claims it’s because he doesn’t want “children to get drawn into the glorification of drinking,” but several decades ago his lawsuit made it seem like he was suing because no amount of Bud Light (the world’s best beer, let’s be honest) would turn him into the ladykiller the commercials claimed he’d become. No beautiful landscapes appeared when he popped open a bottle and no women (or dudes–remember Schmitts Gay from SNL?) showed up to tell him how cool and interesting he was or how awesome his mustache (we’re assuming he has a mustache) looked.

Overton sued for $10,000 due to financial and emotional distress  as well as mental injury stemming from the beer’s misleading ads. He lost, but he’s still feeling pretty bitter about it. When asked about it in 2007, he just went on and on about “the children” and how he doesn’t want people to think of him as a “sexually frustrated guy drinking beer to meet women.”

Yeah…except that’s exactly what it sounds like.

The Guy Who Sued McDonald’s Because Their Chocolate Shake Got Him Into A Car Wreck

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While we were over here wrongfully making fun of Stella Liebeck, the woman who sued McDonald’s over dangerously hot coffee that landed her in the hospital needing skin grafts, we should have been spending our time having a quiet giggle over the misfortune of one John Carter, a man who sued the fast food chain because it didn’t provide directions for its customers not to drink and drive. Not even if the drink in question is a chocolate shake.

According to The Daily Observer, Carter wasn’t the customer in question–the guy who hit him was. The driver at fault had just exited a McDonald’s drive-through and hit Carter when he spilled his shake while trying to get to his fries. Sounds like the guy owed Carter some money, but Carter decided not to stop at an insurance claim. The case, which was ultimately dismissed, apparently dragged on for three years and cost McDonald’s thousands of dollars despite the fact that the chain has absolutely no obligation to let their patrons know that driving while chowing down is a dangerous game.

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