A supersized White Castle customer, tired of complaining about the restaurant chain's smaller booths, is taking his case to U.S. federal court.
Martin Kessman, who weighs 290 pounds, has filed a lawsuit against White Castle demanding bigger chairs and unspecified damages, alleging that the eatery is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. He says White Castle booths are too small to accommodate overweight, pregnant and handicapped people.
They're stationary booths, he told The New York Post. I'm not humongous, [but] I'm a big guy. I could not wedge myself in.
Being a regular customer, Kessman has been complaining for more than two years to the management, as his knees repeatedly knocked into the tables' metal support.
The 64-year-old New York stockbroker said he got condescending responses along with free hamburger coupons and false promises to increase the booth size. In each letter was a coupon for three free hamburgers -- but the cheese was extra, his lawsuit said.
Kessman said he smacked his knee into one of the table's metal supports while trying to squeeze into the seat, and then limped out of the restaurant, humiliated. I just want to sit down like a normal person, he said.
Despite his conflict with the company, Kessman said he was unable to give up his cravings for discount sliders. He reportedly sent his wife out to pick up his meals because he was too mortified to set foot inside the restaurant.
Fat acceptance movement activists often argue for the recognition of obesity as a disability under the ADA. The American legal system has decided that the potential public health costs exceed the benefits of extending this anti-discrimination law to cover obesity.