Ralph Bryan contends his “Beltbuster” hamburger bought at an east Fort Worth Dairy Queen did a lot more than cure his hunger — it sent him to the hospital.
Bryan is suing the DQ Grill and Chill restaurant on Bridge Street after the hamburger he bought in September 2016 was so moldy that he ended up going to an emergency room and had be admitted to the hospital with food poisoning, according to a lawsuit filed in Tarrant County civil court.
“Without the needed medical care, Mr. Bryan might have died,” according to the lawsuit. “This whole, horrid experience has been very painful and frightening to Mr. Bryan.”
Bryan is seeking more than $200,000 from the DQ franchise and its corporate parent, Lickety Split Food Services in Southlake. Phone calls from the Star-Telegram to the store and Lickety Split were not immediately returned on Friday. Bryan’s attorney, Ernest “Skip” Reynolds, also was unavailable for comment.
This whole, horrid experience has been very painful and frightening to Mr. Bryan,
court document filed in a Tarrant County court
A barber, Bryan said he accidentally ate the tainted food after his wife went to the DQ and bought the burger for him to eat while he worked. The burger was wrapped in paper, according to the lawsuit.
About an hour after he allegedly ate part of the burger, Bryan states in the lawsuit that he began to get sick.
“To his shock and dismay, he discovered that the ‘Belt-Buster’ hamburger was moldy: it had a moldy a bun” that was covered by the wrapping paper, the lawsuit states. When he unwrapped the packaged food the rest of the way, Bryan discovered that the burger showed a “great amount of mold.”
While he stopped eating the burger, Bryan illness grew worse as the day progressed. On his way home he reported the tainted food to the restaurant for the first time, the lawsuit states.
But Bryan “got sicker and sicker as the night progressed” and the following day it became necessary for him to go the emergency room where he was told he had a “bad case of food poisoning” that was probably caused by the burger, according to the lawsuit. He was eventually admitted to the hospital for treatment.
His economic loss and pecuniary damages have already mounted to about $20,000, the lawsuit said.
DQ officials took the hamburger from Bryan several days after he reported being ill and never returned it, the lawsuit said. While DQ personnel admitted there was a problem, court documents show that all they ever offered him was a “card/coupon” to be redeemed for more food and merchandise.