Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Kentucky Court of Appeals Upholds $6 Million Verdict

By Debra Dawahare

            In a published decision issued on November 20, 2009, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has upheld the Bullitt Circuit Court’s award of over $6 Million to two former employees of the Mt. Washington McDonald’s.  In its decision in McDonald’s Corporation v Ogborn, the court considered a truly bizarre situation.

   Between 1994 and 2004, an unknown hoaxer called fast food restaurants across the county, pretending to be a police officer.  He convinced restaurant managers, employees, and outsiders to conduct strip searches and even sexual assaults upon victims the hoaxer had apparently pre-selected.  The hoax was carried out more than 30 times at different McDonald’s restaurants, including several in Kentucky.  According to the court’s opinion, McDonald’s legal department was aware of and had documented these facts, but the company nevertheless failed to warn or train its employees about this hoax, or to prepare them to respond appropriately so as to prevent the hoax from being repeated.

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