Burger King wants to dismiss a federal lawsuit alleging there were needles in a sandwich after the former soldier who made the claim didn’t attend a settlement conference.
Clark Bartholomew sued after he said he was injured in 2010 when he bit into a Triple Stacker from a Burger King on a Hawaii base. The former Army sergeant’s lawsuit said one needle pierced his tongue and another was lodged in his small intestine.
The federal lawsuit was scheduled for trial last month after both sides failed to reach a settlement.
Grant Kidani, a Honolulu attorney representing Miami-based Burger King Corp., filed a motion Monday asking for a dismissal, a fine and attorney’s fees after Bartholomew didn’t attend a settlement conference last week in Honolulu.
Kidani’s motion for sanctions said the judge required that a "representative with final settlement authority, other than an attorney of record, must personally attend the settlement conference." Bartholomew’s attorneys informed the defendants the day before the hearing that he wouldn’t attend because he had a job interview, Kidani’s motion said.
Bartholomew has retired and lives in Chantilly, Va. Neither he nor his attorney could be reached for comment Monday.
"Without plaintiff Clark Bartholomew’s attendance, the settlement conference proved worthless," Kidani’s motion said, adding that his absence "wasted the time and resources of the defendants and their counsel, and, worst of all, those of the court."
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi issued an order later Monday saying the motion will be decided without a hearing.
In May, U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright refused to grant the defense’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which argued that Bartholomew can’t sue because he suffered his injuries during the course of military service.