Is the grand sum of seventeen dollars worth going to court over? Considering the time and hassle involved in filing a lawsuit, probably not — but one Pennsylvania couple just had to stick it to the man.
Per ABC 27, Doug and Patty Wargo took Burger King to small claims court after they were accidentally double-charged for a meal to the tune of $17.35 back in November. Shortly thereafter, a refund in the appropriate amount showed up in their bank account — but now the Wargos were out more than $100 in court costs. They decided to take the home of the Whopper to court yet again to seek reimbursement, and — surprise! — they won. But more than a month after the judgment was handed down, they say they still haven't received a check from Burger King.
According to Zachary Levine of Wolk & Levine, a business and intellectual property law firm, "This is not an uncommon situation for litigants to find themselves in. Many people learn that winning their trial and obtaining a judgment is really just the start of a new phase of their case. A judgment entitles you to the money you won but it is up to the prevailing party to enforce that judgment and actually collect from the defendant."
"It is fairly common to have to pursue a defendant of any size but there are tools that this couple can use to collect," Levine continues. "After making a formal written demand they can serve discovery on BK to ascertain its assets and then request assistance from the court for things like bank levies, sheriff's sales, and turnover orders of specific property. In most cases interest will accrue on the principal judgment amount and the judgment can be renewed to add the additional costs of collection."
While it's unlikely Burger King will need to sell off any assets in order to cough up that $113.90 it owes the Wargos, it sounds like the company would be wise to pay up sooner rather than later to avoid racking up a bigger bill. Eater has reached out to Burger King for comment.
Some of Burger King's competitors are currently facing lawsuits that could cost them a lot more than $17.35: McDonald's was recently hit with a $5 million class-action lawsuit over its mozzarella sticks as well as numerous hot coffee suits, and Wendy's is being taken to court in Florida over its recent credit card data breach.