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When a Toyota is not a Toyota

June 5, 2018

The tale I am about to tell occurred in 2001, but I just happened upon it, and thought it noteworthy enough to warrant inclusion in the blog. It is also a true story.

Jodee Berry, then 26 years old, was a waitress at a Hooter’s restaurant in Panama City, Florida when the restaurant held a competition to see which server could sell the most beer in a month to its customers. The prize? A new Toyota. Berry won.

On the day that she was to pick up her prize, Berry was led, blindfolded, to the restaurant’s parking lot, and when the blindfold came off, she saw that she had won… a new toy Yoda. Get it?

Berry was not amused.

In fact, she did the honorable thing. First, she quit. Then, she hired a lawyer, who sued the restaurant for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. The franchisee maintained that it was all an April Fools Day prank, but must have recognized that there was merit to the lawsuit, since the matter settled before it went to trial. While the terms of the settlement were confidential, Berry’s attorney said that the money she was awarded would allow her to “pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants.”

I love stories with a happy ending.

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