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Burger King settles with ex-isle soldier

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A retired soldier who filed a lawsuit saying there were needles in his Burger King sandwich has reached a settlement with the fast-food chain, his lawyer said.

But a trial is still scheduled against the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which operates the franchise on Schofield Barracks, where the burger was purchased in 2010. A nonjury trial is scheduled for March 2.

Clark Bartholomew, a retired Army sergeant, filed the lawsuit claiming one needle pierced his tongue when he bit into his Triple Stacker sandwich and another lodged in his small intestine, requiring hospitalization.

Exact terms of the settlement reached Monday were confidential, but Bartho­lomew’s lawyer, Paul Sacco­ccio, said it involves releasing Burger King Corp. and the food service company that provided the meat from the lawsuit.

"We’re confident in our case against the Burger King at Schofield," Saccoccio said Tuesday. "We’re just trying to focus the issues, and we move forward. We did it for judicial economy."

Several settlement attempts have been made since the lawsuit was filed. When Bartholomew didn’t attend one of the settlement conferences, a judge ordered him to pay nearly $8,500 in sanctions.

Government attorneys have said previously that the case should be dismissed because Bartho­lomew was injured during the course of his military service. A judge refused to throw out the case.

Attorneys representing the defendants did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Bartholomew now lives in Chantilly, Va., and will have to return to Hono­lulu for the trial.

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