Jiffy Lube coupon addressed to ‘Turd Burgler’ makes headlines, spurs lawsuit

The coupon in question

In a news of the weird what may have been anything from homophobia to a childish prank to a mistake has taken on a life of its own when a $16 coupon for Jiffy Lube’s “signature service” addressed to a “Turd Burgler” sparked a $150K discrimination lawsuit.

Laremy Eck, who received the piece of mail, recently went to his local Jiffy Lube and believes the coupon was sent to him because he’s gay. The Jiffy Lube claims the coupon was sent by mistake and was intended for the resident’s previous occupant, an acquaintance of the shop known as the “Turd Burgler” (their spelling, not ours). Even though the incident could be a mistake the suit pressed on in a court filing in late November.

After a visit to Jiffy Lube in early October, the Milwaukie, Oregon man says he received snickers due to his provocative date attire. A few days later was when he received the coupon. Then, Eck’s boyfriend had his car window smashed. Nothing was stolen from the car, which was parked in front of Eck’s house overnight, even though there was a MacBook and digital camera sitting inside.

It was at this point that Eck hired Thomas Martin, with Martin, Elliott and Snell P.C., a lawyer who describes himself as an “ambulance chaser.”

In a classic he said, he said, the argument continues with Jiffy Lube manager Tommy Sudlow claiming that the intended recipient, Jerome Osborne who drives a 1992 Chevy pick-up with the license plate number that appeared on the coupon, requested to be addressed as “Turd Burgler.” He then asks why Eck didn’t confront them directly to which he replies, “I wouldn’t go over there,” stated Eck. “They are big scary guys.” He also believes this is a bigger deal than merely a prank.

“It’s surprising that in 2010 there are still people who think that they can get away with this,” Martin said firmly. He believes that the postcard was deliberately addressed to Eck, as a mean-spirited prank, perhaps committed by “low level hourly employees.” But Martin strongly suspected that the company itself may be creating an environment that supports anti-gay behavior: “People in positions of authority are encouraging it.”

A company called USP/GEE, L.C. based out of Sandy, Utah owns Jiffy Lube #2528. Martin stated that he believed Mormons might control the company. Martin said he had recently finished reading a book about Mormonism and felt strongly that the company may be prejudice against homosexuals.

Has this gone too far? Is it just a prank or representative of a systemic homophobia problem within the company? Comment below.

1 comment to Jiffy Lube coupon addressed to ‘Turd Burgler’ makes headlines, spurs lawsuit

  • Miss Anthrope

    I think this is a blown-up non-case, and would’ve been better handled as a Facebook shunning campaign.

    Things like this distracts from the fight against real, factual, violent oppression & abuse of queer people. This Thomas Martin fellow sounds like an ambulance-chaser indeed.