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Overweight Man Sues, Claims Small White Castle Booths Violate His Civil Rights


"I have been like an outcast."

A 290-pound stockbroker is in a heated dispute with White Castle involving undersized seats, free hamburger coupons, and claimed discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. All because he can't fit into the burger giant's booths.

The New York Post reports that Martin Kessman of Nanuet, New York, began his crusade after he could not fit into the stationary booths of his beloved White Castle in April 2009. Mortified and in pain after repeated attempts to wedge himself in, Kessman left fuming and later wrote a complaint to the corporate headquarters.

The Post has this picture by Angel Chevrestt displaying Kessman's problem:

“As I looked around the restaurant, I saw that there were no tables and chairs that could accommodate a person that merely wanted to sit down and eat his meal,” Kessman wrote White Castle.

“I’m not humongous, [but] I’m a big guy. I could not wedge myself in,” he told the Post.

Kessman filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court last week. He became infuriated when the fast-food company did not address his complaints, only to send back three "very nice" condolence letters and coupons for free hamburgers, which he found insulting.

While Kessman will not set foot in the store, his wife still picks up White Castle burgers for him.

“Any subsequent trips to the store have been made by my wife -- I have been like an outcast."

"The Rockland County man says the chain’s uncomfortable booths violate the civil rights of fat people.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is 'applicable, not only to me, but to pregnant women and to handicapped people,' he said."

What do you think? Not too long ago a New York Times op-ed floated the idea of affirmative action for ugly people. Is a fast-food establishment without extra-large seats violating the civil rights of the overweight, pregnant and handicapped?

Fat Man, Little Booth

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