Steak n’ Shake awarded $80K after former employee’s wormy burger post

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Steak ‘n Shake chain restaurant in Middletown, DE, on July 26, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS– A former Steak n’ Shake employee has to pay the burger chain $80,000 after writing a social media post claiming she found worms in a hamburger at the Florissant restaurant.

Our partners at the Post-Dispatch report the jury awarded Steak n’ Shake $70,000 in actual damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.

The Post reports that in court documents filed before the trial, Steak n’ Shake lawyers said Melissa White was mistaken when she believed she found worms in a burger that she was preparing for herself in January 2018.

The lawyers went on to say in the filing was that what White actually saw was fat that rose to the surface of the burger patty when she applied pressure to it.

The Post reports a district manager investigated and found no evidence of worms. White was uncooperative, triggering a call to police.

The court filing also says she posted her “defamatory” claims as well as pictures to Facebook. The post was shared at least 36,000 times

The Post says White’s lawyer called the verdict very disappointing. He said the verdict could force White into bankruptcy.

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