Can I sue a fast food restaurant for damaging personal property? 24 Answers as of June 27, 2013

My boyfriend and I went through a drive-thru fast food place not this week. The woman was so openly rude I decided not to eat, but my boyfriend went on with his order. Long story short she continued to be rude, and even yell through the speaker. At the window she took his debit card, and swiped it so furiously that it snapped in half. When I noticed this and tried to confront her, she slammed the window shut and didn't return. I called up the restaurant, and it turns out she is the assistant manager. She made excuses and lies (saying the window was broken.) and I got nothing accomplished. My boyfriend had to fly out first thing the next morning without a credit card. He was unable to eat, check luggage, or anything else. Not to mention he is now in NY with no money until his replacement arrives. We contacted corporate and they were rude and offered an insincere apology. Is there anything legally that can be done?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You should hire an attorney to see if you have a case that you can file.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/11/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
What are your damages?
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/27/2013
Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
You can sue, but what is the extent of your damages.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/9/2012
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question requires an attorney consultation. It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. I strongly suggest that you contact an attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/9/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Under those circumstances, nothing legal.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/9/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can sue for anything, and McDonald's gets sued every day, just Google it and you will see a woman who is suing because working at McDonald's "made her a prostitute", a woman who was burned with coffee that was "too hot and the lid was not secured", a woman who slipped off the toilet, and two drunk women who jumped over the counter and beat their employee over the fact that he checked their $50 dollar bill. He was just out of prison for manslaughter and beat both of them with a metal pole used for the frier. When you tried to "confront her" you could have been charged with a crime, especially if you opened the window or threatened her. It was an accident or the card was cracked, or she did it too hard, but I doubt that it was negligence that would give you the right to sue for consequential damages. You should have more than one credit card for a number of reasons, and you will not be able to prove that it was intentional or negligent.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Write a letter to their National Headquarters. Post this story on the internet.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    I do not think that a lawsuit will produce the results that you want. What I would do is to carefully draft a letter to the headquarters of the store, explaining in clear, concise terms what happened. If they do not satisfy you, then send a copy of your letter to every newspaper in the city, and tell the headquarters of the store that you are going to do it. Another option is that if you know someone who is active on the internet as a blogger, and has a strong following of people, have that blogger put the story on the internet; you can spread the word across the entire country as to how lousy the company is. When you hit people in the pocket book, you get results.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You can sue for damage to personal property but you mainly have hurt feelings and you wont be paid for those. Best thing may be to write the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and the home office of the chain, and make sure you note at the foot everyone you are mailing to. You may embarrass them into doing something and you may get a call from the presidents office. When you want the best water you go to the head of the spring. The president will not be happy with his franchisee misbehaving
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    I do not see a potential lawsuit here. The only thing you would be able to claim would be the damage to his property - i.e. the credit card.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You could sue for whatever damages you can prove, but I doubt you have sufficient damages to justify a suit.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Yes, you need to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/9/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You would have to prove actual damages, not necessarily just an inconvenience. I would go to the manager and make sure the manager knows it will be a cold day in Hell before you or your boyfriend ever frequent that place again. I would also find out who the district manager is if it was a franchise (like Burger King or McDonalds) and file a formal complaint with the area supervisor.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You should consult with a lawyer who handles cases and other foopd establishments for specific legal advice and direction.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    No. You would have to take personal revenge which I don't recommend. Just let it go. You failed because you escalated the situation. She controlled the fries, the pop, the sandwiches. You chose to spoil your BF's last night in your loving arms. Why? You should have loaned him $200 cash. No case.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. Your damages are minimal. Seeking a recovery for a lost card would not likely be a wise decisions based on a cost benefit analysis.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    The company should offer you a gift certificate at the very least. If you sue them in small claims court, what monetary damages were directly caused by the Asst. Manager's negligence?
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Boycott the restaurant. The debit card is not your property but the property of the bank. You can't sue someone because they are rude but you can write a letter to the corporation and inform them that you will tell all your friends about your treatment and make sure none of you eat there.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Sure I would take them to small claims court. They will have to hire an attorney and may decide to start being civil.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    A lot can be done if you are willing to pay $400 / an hour.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Not really. It's not your card, but he may be entitled to any damage he suffered as a result. Tell him to hold on to any receipts and file a claim later. The credit card company should be able to get him a new card fairly fast.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Sure, but be ready to cough up a couple hundred dollars per hour in legal fees that you lawyer will need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/8/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The personal property that was damaged was the debit card? Are you serious? Your boyfriend travels for business and he has only one debit card, and no cash in the bank, is that correct? You can sue, but anyone that can create this much drama in the take-out lane at a fast food restaurant is going to have a hard time in court. I would examine my people skills. That is a better use of your time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/8/2012
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