McDonald's found liable in negligent security lawsuit: Part II

McDonald's found liable in negligent security lawsuit: Part II

In our last post, we began a discussion about a premises liability lawsuit alleging negligent security. While the incident took place near a college campus in Texas, the details of the case are similar to one that Los Angeles residents know well: The near-fatal beating of a fan in the Dodgers Stadium parking lot. A jury recently ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $18 million in damages.

Like the Dodgers Stadium case, this premises liability lawsuit involved allegations of negligent security that led to a severe beating in a parking lot. Two young men were attacked by a mob in a McDonald’s parking lot next to the Texas A&M University campus in 2012. Plaintiffs allege that one of the victims died as a result of the beating, and a young woman was killed in a car accident while driving the victims to the hospital.

An attorney representing the plaintiffs said that fights and violence were common in that particular area, and McDonald’s failed to provide adequate security. The attorney said: “The night these two kids died, this was a dangerous location, and McDonald's knew it. Yet they did nothing to prevent their senseless deaths.” As proof of the known dangers, plaintiffs presented evidence that police had been called more than 20 times in the previous year to respond to fights in the area.

Recently, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and found that McDonald’s had been 97 percent negligent. The families of the two victims were awarded $27 million in damages.

There are many parallels between this incident and the beating at Dodgers Stadium. Among the most obvious is the fact that both were preventable and neither should have happened. Business owners cannot always ensure that rowdy and violent customers stay away, but they can take steps to ensure that other customers are adequately protected.

Source: Courthouse News Service, " $27 Million Award Against McDonald's," David Lee, July 31, 2014

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