You know the joke about the Buddhist who orders an omelet: “Make me one with everything.”
The Jewish equivalent, of course, is “Hold the pork.”
That’s what Angela Montgomery, 30, thought she was getting when she ordered a “loaded veggie omelet” at a Detroit-area Denny’s restaurant recently.
Instead, Montgomery said, the omelet included bacon.
So she sued.
The lawsuit says Montgomery “is a practicing Jew whose religion forbids the eating of any pork product,” according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
Montgomery says in the lawsuit that the waitress and manager apologized. She was told the mistake was made because the bacon container was next to the containers for vegetables in the restaurant’s kitchen.
The restaurant manager offered her a new omelet at no charge but she said that her appetite had been ruined by the knowledge that she had eaten bacon.
Montgomery told the Free Press that she was “poisoned” by the restaurant. “It’s like the most vile, disgusting creature on planet Earth that’s not supposed to go in your body, and I ate it,” she said. “To me, that’s a poisoning. I was poisoned.”
Dearborn attorney Majed Moughni filed the lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court. Last month, Moughni filed another lawsuit in the same court against a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Lincoln Park, Michigan, on behalf of a Yemeni-American Muslim couple from Dearborn. The complaint? Putting bacon in their chicken sandwiches.
Askar Abubaker and his wife, Hasinah Saeed, who wears a veil, requested cheese as the only extra in their sandwiches. They allege that the KFC employees were looking at them and smiling when they discovered the bacon.
KFC said it was the result of a miscommunication. “At KFC we respect the religious beliefs of our guests of all faiths,” a KFC spokesman said. “We believe this lawsuit was filed as a result of a miscommunication between the guest and our team member.”
Both lawsuits allege breach of contract and negligent representation, and seek monetary damages for emotional and physical distress.
Moughni also filed a lawsuit in May against Little Caesars Pizza in Dearborn that advertised halal pepperoni pizza, which the attorney said in his lawsuit was not halal and contained pork.
The most successful lawsuit to date for a claim of treif against a non-kosher restaurant is probably the 2002 case against McDonald’s for using beef flavoring in French fries it described as vegetarian. (They were fried in vegetable oil.)
The company settled, giving $4,000 to each of 12 named plaintiffs, and $10 million to groups promoting vegetarianism and kashrut, among them Camp Ramah.
JTA Wire Service