NANUET, N.Y. - A 290-pound New York man is steaming mad at the White Castle fast-food chain, which he claims repeatedly broke promises to make the booths in his local eatery bigger.
Martin Kessman, 64, filed a lawsuit against the fast-food giant last week in Manhattan federal court, claiming that the uncomfortable booths violate the civil rights of fat people.
Kessman's lawsuit came more than two years after he complained to White Castle about the size of the booths at the Nanuet, N.Y., eatery and reportedly received a pledge that renovations would be carried out to cater for larger customers.
"They sent me specs and everything, about how the booths were going to be enlarged and made comfortable for people with a little more weight. So two and a half years went by, and nothing was done," he told the New York Post , adding that he has no problem finding a place to take a load off at other fast-food places and fits easily into airline seats.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is "applicable -- not only to me, but to pregnant women and to handicapped people," according to Kessman, who is suing for bigger chairs and unspecified damages. "I just want to sit down like a normal person."
White Castle issued a statement saying its No. 1 priority is its customers and that it tried to accommodate Kessman.
"We want everyone to feel comfortable in our restaurants. In this case, within days of being made aware of the customer's concern back in April, 2009, we provided the customer with a list of locations with different seating arrangements that might better suit him," said Jamie Richardson, a vice president. "It's also our practice to offer a chair to customers who find this option more appealing. We actually have replaced a booth in that customer's restaurant with a table and chairs."