UPDATE: See end of post for news of settlement of this case . . .
What do you get when you combine a restaurant, Claim Jumper, a $300,000 tax debt to the feds, and a highly litigious society? A condom in the French onion soup, of course!
I'm not saying that 51-year-old Zdenek Philip Hodousek from Mission Viejo put the condom in his soup while dining at the restaurant in order to sue the restaurant that has since offered him $30,000 to settle. I'm just saying, please let it be the man's doing. I don't need to imagine someone having sex–safe or otherwise–in the kitchen of a restaurant that serves clam chowder.
More pornorific details about the case after the jump (Spoiler alert: the condom was used!).
According to the OC Register, Hodousek thought the chewy mouthful was a tough piece of cheese. When he couldn't chew it up, he spit it out. The suit goes on to say that it was his wife who identified the foreign object, exclaiming “Oh my God, it's a condom.”
Hodousek filed his suit in July of 2009, and the trial began on Monday. The restaurant released a statement saying the claims about Claim Jumper are totally untrue. From the OC Register:
“We have found no evidence to support any of the allegations of a
'foreign object in the food,' said Joan Gladstone, a spokeswoman for
the company in a statement issued Monday. 'After a thorough
investigation, there was no evidence of any Claim Jumper employee
involvement or wrongdoing.'”
Family man Hodousek, who runs a real estate business with his wife, admits that he owes $300,000 in back taxes and penalties, but he insists that this fact has nothing to do with his lawsuit. So why wasn't the $30,000 settlement enough? I know guys that would take a mouthful of condom for way less money than that.
But a used condom? That's a different sum of money altogether. According to the suit, the condom was tied in a knot in the middle. Hodousek called the manager over, who then untied the object, believing it was a piece of a rubber glove. Close, but no cigar. The manager asked Hodousek to give him the condom, but Hodousek took it home with him instead. A souvenir perhaps? No. The suit says he sent it to a DNA lab which confrimed that it had female DNA on it.
Last year, the females in the Claim Jumper at the time of the soup service were supposed to get DNA tests as well. According to the suit, this never happened because, “the defendant hired a nurse to administer the DNA testing who would not
go forward with the testing because of the failure of the defendant to
have an observer present during the testing.”
Hodousek and his wife have taken DNA tests to prove that it's not their baby batter in the soup. The restaurant has gone on to say that there is no way to be sure that the condom tested was the one found in the soup, since Hodousek took it home with him.
According to an earlier report from the OC Register, all of this stress has been tough on Hodousek's life. The poor guy can't even get his wife to touch him since he chewed rubber, fearing diseases and general coodies (Hodousek's tests for HIV and hepatitis have been clean thus far). The suggestions that he's going on with the suit to settle his personal debts are taking a toll as well. From the OC Register:
“'I put my own condom in a soup?' he said. 'It would be beyond
stupid.' Now on TV they're comparing us with the story of a finger in
(the chili, at Wendy's)–that we are there for the money. We never
mentioned money, it is not about money, it's about principle.
'They brought me a frickin' used condom in soup. Bottom line, end of story.'”
UPDATE: A settlement was reached Wednesday between Hodousek and Claim Jumper. The amount was not disclosed, but we do know Hodousek wrangled this statement out of the restaurant chain's lawyers: “Claim Jumper sincerely regrets, and apologizes for, statements which
have appeared in the media which have cast Mr. & Mrs. Hodousek, in
an unfavorable light. With the conclusion of this litigation, Claim
Jumper wishes the plaintiffs well and sincerely hopes that they are
successful in putting this regrettable incident behind them.”