Burger King released from former Hawaii soldier’s lawsuit over needles in sandwich

In this 2009 photo provided by Tanya Bartholomew, her husband, former army soldier, Clark Bartholomew, is seen carrying their son Aric at Fort Drum, N.Y. The former soldier's lawsuit alleges he bit into needles in a Burger King sandwich purchased at Hawaii's Schofield Barracks in 2010. (AP Photo/Tanya Bartholomew)

HONOLULU (AP) — A retired soldier who filed a lawsuit saying there were needles in his Burger King sandwich has reached a settlement with the fast food chain.

But a trial is still scheduled against the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange, which operates the franchise on Schofield Barracks, the Hawaii Army base where the burger was purchased in 2010. A nonjury trial is scheduled for March 2.

The former Army sergeant’s lawsuit says a needle pierced his tongue when he bit into his Triple Stacker sandwich and another was lodged in his small intestine, requiring hospitalization.

Exact terms of the settlement reached Monday are confidential, but Bartholomew’s lawyer, Paul Saccoccio, said it involves releasing from the lawsuit Burger King Corp. and the food service company that provided the meat.

“We’re confident in our case against the Burger King at Schofield,” Saccoccio said Tuesday. “We’re just trying to focus the issues and we move forward. We did it for judicial economy.”

There have been several settlement attempts since the lawsuit was filed. When Bartholomew didn’t attend one of the settlement conferences, a judge ordered him to pay nearly $8,500 in sanctions.

Government attorneys have said previously that the case should be dismissed because Bartholomew was injured during the course of his military service. A judge refused to throw out the case.

Attorneys representing the defendants didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Bartholomew now lives in Chantilly, Virginia. He and his family will have to return to Hawaii for the trial in federal court in Honolulu.

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