Fat Man Sues White Castle Over Seating

September 11, 2011

An obese man has filed a lawsuit against hamburger hamlet White Castle, claiming the company discriminates against overweight people because their seats are not big enough. Martin Kessman claims he walked into his favorite restaurant in 2009 only to find that all the seating was stationary and could not accommodate someone of his size. He was embarrassed to wedge himself into a booth and claimed to suffer serious physical pain after banging his knee. 

The next day, he penned a letter to the corporate office with his complaints. The company replied with "three condescending letters," coupons for free hamburgers and a promise to expand the size of the restaurant's seating. Now, two and half years later, nothing has happened and Kessman has filed a lawsuit. 

Kessman says the seating violates the civil rights of fat people. “I just want to sit down like a normal person," he says. “Any subsequent trips to the store have been made by my wife -- I have been like an outcast.”

Does Kessman have a point with his beef or is this a frivolous suit? 

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calendar_ girl's picture

Above I said
"Fully 70% of the stores in the supermarket are genetically modified."

this should have read Fully 70% of the FOODS in the supermarket are genetically modified. Sorry

calendar_ girl's picture

my comment was triggered by yours but got posted above you

Mac's picture

Obesity is NOT a disease. If it was, what isn't? This idiot needs to get fined for wasting the courts time and then not allowed inside another White Castle restaurant. It's a fast-food joint. A man of his size should know better than consume said food. He obviously is content with his weight, so he should be ok with the limitations he set for himself.

calendar_ girl's picture

@ suzien

I just read that 66% of Americans are overweight/obese. In this economy people are eating out less. Many others are wanting to eat healthier than fast foods allow and so they are losing customers. It seems they need to understand that it makes good business sense to make the customers especially ones that eat and spend a lot more comfortable so they come back.

These tend to be people who put convenience and taste above health so I would think the company would have been happy someone alerted them to something many of their clientèle feel as many have encountered this problem especially at white castle which unlike many fast food companies do not have some tables and chairs in addition to unmovable units and have bigger ones than white castle which is one of the smallest seating units.

For every letter they get they can be sure at least a thousand people feel the same but did not write..maybe just went elsewhere.

It seems the person getting the letter was one of the many Americans with hatred or prejudice towards an obese person as he apparently wrote a condescending letter and thought a few dollars in food would appease this man and apparently ticked off the wrong person. Then on top of it they lied even sending building plans which cannot be used against them in court lying not once but three times.

You can be sure other obese people will wait to see if he prevails maybe to do their own lawsuit or see if they want to go there anymore. If this happens other fast foods places will be scared of the precedent and put in at least some freestanding tables and chairs. So this employees cost the industry more. Had they just send a few tables and chairs to that one restaurant all this could have been avoided. They will also have negative publicity with this.

As I said if 2/3 rd of the people are overweight, it makes good sense to make these people comfortable and not have the table cutting into their stomachs which is not good for digestion or worst yet be embarrassed by not being able to fit at all.Sure they obviously do not give a crap about their customers which you can tell as nothing on the menu is healthy but at least make it so the people will feel they want to come back and be sure everyone fits ok is cost effective in the long run so people in a competitive fast food industry do not lose their customers to more accommodating stores. He did them a favor by possible spurring them to action instead of just never coming back like many would do and he was patient as he waited two years and wrote three times. The employee who answered the letter with plans etc that they never intended to do should be fired.

If they had spent a few hundred dollars sending a couple freestanding table and chairs there, that could have ended it. Now if he wins, they will have to do all their restaurants as well as other corporations. This idiot employee could wind up costing the company more. Had he not been condescending, the guy might have let it go but once he got angry and emotionally involved he could not. it is better this way for other overweight and tall people as if they had just done that store the guy would not have sued.

I think he did it for the principle and came to feel he was speaking for all those who feel the same but would never speak up or sue due to embarrassment. He spoke for them. This is different from entitlement.

calendar_ girl's picture

@tubby tim

hear hear finally someone who is not rude

I did not realize that obesity was considered a disease by the AMA. That will give more weight (no pun intend) to his case.

But seriously, I think it is a disease as only 3% of the people can keep the weight off and once they lose weight the amount they must eat to maintain it becomes insufficient to maintain health. Some people are gaining weight on 500 calories a day.

I feel it is a complex issue that we do not as yet understand. also there are environmental things causing physical problems like the GMO foods that alter how insulin works that I mentioned previously

calendar_ girl's picture

@ mel

my long comment that starts with words "did you ever stop to wonder" was directed to you but did not post correctly under your comment

calendar_ girl's picture

@ mel

my long comment that starts with words "did you ever stop to wonder" was directed to you but did not post correctly under your comment

Anonymous's picture

is anyone having a problem with page 3 showing?

When I click it I get page 4.