An Oregon man says he deserves a free Whopper meal every week for the rest of his life because he was trapped inside a restroom at a Portland-area Burger King restaurant for more than an hour.
Curtis Brooner, 50, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the Multnomah County Circuit Court for $9,026, an amount he estimates would pay for one Whopper meal per week for the next 22 years, Newsweek reported.
On Dec.15, Brooner got trapped inside a single-user locked restroom at the fast-food restaurant.
Brooner's attorney, Michael Fuller, explained that his client went to the restroom to wash his hands but the door wouldn't open when he tried to exit.
"They gave him a fly swatter to 'jimmy' the door open, which actually cut his hand," Fuller said.
Brooner pounded on the door for help while employees on the other side of the door laughed at him, according to published reports. The restaurant called in a locksmith to open the door.
"It's the kind of place where you hold your breath: Go in and get out of there as fast as you can," Brooner told The Oregonian. "That wasn't an option for me."
After the incident, the store manager reportedly promised Brooner free burgers for the rest of his life. And he took full advantage of the offer. Over the next 13 days, he ate at the restaurant every day; sometimes twice a day. But when the district manager cut off the freebies, Brooner filed the lawsuit.
Fuller said his client wants either the free meals or a payment equal to the price of one Whopper meal a week for life.
How was this calculated?
Here's how the amount was calculated, according to Newsweek:
He took the life expectancy of a man, which is 77, and subtracted five years because of what weekly burgers could possibly do to a man into his 70's. With life expectancy set at 72 the total comes to one Whopper Meal ($7.89) a week ($7.89 x 52 = $410.28) over 22 years ($410.28 x 22 = $9,026.16).
Brooner told the Willamette Week that the incident triggered his post-traumatic stress disorder and he sat in Burger King for another hour because he was too upset to drive.
"While I was sitting in their lobby trying to calm down, the manager came over and said, 'Anytime you come in here, it's free meals on us.' I eat at Burger King almost daily, and so I was grateful for the offer," Brooner said.
Brooner believes the restaurant made a promise it should keep.
"It's an honor issue," he told the Willamette Week. "They could have said, 'The next meal is free,' and that would have ended it. But that's not the deal they made."