11/07/2006

N.M. officers sue over potburgers

The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE —Two police officers have sued Burger King Corp., claiming they were served hamburgers that had been sprinkled with marijuana.

The lawsuit says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought meals at the drive-through lane Oct. 8 of a Burger King restaurant in Los Lunas, N.M.

The officers ate about half of their burgers before discovering marijuana on the meat, the lawsuit said. They used a field test kit to confirm the substance was pot, then went to a hospital for medical evaluations.

"It gives a whole new meaning to the word 'Whopper,'" the officers' attorney, Sam Bregman, said Monday. "The idea that these hoodlums would put marijuana into a hamburger and therefore attempt to impair law enforcement officers trying to do their jobs is outrageous."

Three Burger King employees were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and aggravated battery on an officer, a felony. They later were indicted.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Bernalillo County, alleges personal injury, negligence, battery and violation of fair practices. It seeks unspecified damages along with legal costs.

Officials at Miami-based Burger King declined to comment, citing a company policy against discussing pending litigation.

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