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Story by Kimberly West - The Oregon Herald
Published on Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 2:56 PM
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VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Vancouver deputy is suing a fast food chain over a spit-covered burger served to him last year. Deputy Edward Bylsma was in uniform and in a marked car when he ordered a Whopper at a Burger King drive-through on Northeast Gher Road in March 2009, according to a statement from the Seattle Law Office of Stafford Frey Cooper. The deputy said the worker who handed him his food acted suspiciously. "I carefully unwrapped the burger and pulled the meat patty off the bottom bun. I found slimy, clear and white phlegm," Bylsma said in the statement. Anne Bremner, Bylsma's attorney, said DNA testing found that the burger contained human sputum and saliva and that it came from the mouth of 22-year-old Gary Herb, who was working at the Burger King at the time. "He had an instinct that the individuals were acting a little funny.

They were off to him," Bremner said. "Something just clicked with him, like 'I better look at my burger.'" Another test could not rule out feces on the burger, according to the law office's statement. Herb was found guilty of third-degree assault in the incident. He was ordered to be tested for hepatitis and other communicable diseases. A second Burger King worker who served the burger was not charged in the crime. He refused to take a hepatitis test. Bremner said the employee who spat on the burger spent time in jail, but Bylsma is still affected by the incident. "He can't go anywhere where someone else prepares his food unless he can see it," Bremner said.

"He's always worried something is going to happen." Representatives with Burger King could not be reached for comment Tuesday. "Unfortunately, this was not Deputy Bylsma's first time at this particular Burger King, and the true extent of Burger King's negligent hiring and supervision will likely never be known," Bremner said. The complaint against Burger King Corp. and Kaizen Foods, which owns the restaurants in the northwest, aims to change Burger King's hiring and supervision policies, as well as unspecified damages. The suit will be filed in Clark County Superior Court.