Should restaurants be held financially liable for the bad behavior of their employees? One California police officer and his lawyer certainly think so. According to the Fresno Bee, Fresno police officer Eloy Escareno has filed suit against McDonald's and one of its employees for attacking him while he was trying to break up a fight in the restaurant's kitchen.
On September 4, police were called to a Fresno McDonald's after a fight between employees broke out in the kitchen. When Escareno arrived on the scene, he entered the kitchen to find 23-year-old Tyler Kennedy Deel and a manager arguing. Escareno claims that as he attempted to calm Deel down, the young man punched him in the face and, during the struggle, hit him in the head several times with Escareno's own baton. Deel allegedly went as far as to attempt to unholster Escareno's gun before the officer was able to subdue him and backup arrived.
Deel was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery, resisting arrest, and assault on a police officer with a baton and has been in Fresno County jail since. Escareno was treated for head injuries and was unable to work for several days.
Escareno is seeking unspecified damages from McDonald's for loss of wages and medical bills, claiming the fast-food company was negligent in hiring Deel. It suggests that McDonald's was aware that Deel had "violent tendencies" and suffered "from a mental condition that made him a danger to himself and others." The lawsuit also claims that during the struggle with Deel, Escareno slipped and fell on water and grease on the floor; as a result, Escareno is also suing McDonald's for premises liability. If the company's actions are deemed willful and malicious, they could be held responsible for punitive damages. Eater has reached out to McDonald's for comment on the lawsuit.
Escareno isn't the first cop to wind up in the hospital following a McDonald's visit. Last year, an officer in Indianapolis was accidentally served a soft drink spiked with cleaning products and had to be rushed to the hospital. Another police officer
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