Although known for their high-fat, greasy food, one overweight individuals is suing White Castle for not accomodating overweight individuals in seating accomodations.
Martin Kessman, who weighs 290 pounds, is suing the burger chain, complaining that he cannot fit into the restaurants booths, reports Yahoo. The 64-year-old New York stockbroker claims that he sent multiple letters to White Castle, and he has received condescending responses from the chain in return.
In addition to promising that the booth sizes would be changed, White Castle sent him free hamburger coupons, ironic given the fact that more hamburgers probably will not make someone fit into the booths. However, Kessman said the booth sizes were not changed, and he is taking his case to federal court. Yahoo reports that Kessman is suing for unspecified damages since the act violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the Department of Labor, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The government defines someone with a disability as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
Does being overweight make someone disabled? The ADA says yes. But the Department of Labor offers this caveat: Just being overweight is not enough. Modifications in policies only must be made if they are reasonable and do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or service provided. The department says it rarely receives obesity claims.
Despite the lawsuit, Kessman isn't ceasing ties with White Castle altogether. Yahoo reports that his wife is picking up the burgers instead of him.