« Ind. Courts - Even more on: Wisconsin's diploma privilege under attack | Main | Environment - Portending the future of the Great Lakes? [Updated] »

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Courts - More on "Kentucky Appeals court upholds $6.1 million strip-search verdict against McDonald's"

Updating this ILB entry from Nov. 21, 2009, Andrew Wolfson reported yesterday in the Louisville Courier Journal, under the headline "McDonald's and strip-search victim settle lawsuit" - the story begins:

With both sides unwilling to take their chances on an appeal, McDonald’s and strip-search victim Louise Ogborn have settled the lawsuit in which a jury awarded her $6.1 million.

The company Friday withdrew a petition in which it was asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to hear the case.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals in November upheld the award, which included $5 million in punitive damages, saying the company was “fully aware” of hoax calls to its restaurants, yet its management made “a conscious decision not to train or warn employees or managers about the calls.”

McDonald’s and Ogborn’s co-counsel, Ann Oldfather, declined to disclose the amount of the settlement, although Oldfather noted that the Court of Appeals ruling was a “resounding victory” for Ogborn.

Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s USA, said, “We are pleased that this matter has been matter has been resolved to the parties' satisfaction.” She added, “As always, we remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our employees and provide them with a safe and respectful workplace.”

As part of the settlement, the two sides agreed to the withdrawal of the punitive damage judgment.

Trial lawyer Gary Weiss, who wasn’t involved in the case, said that was probably done because punitive damages are taxable. The move would allow McDonald’s to pay Ogborn more than the $1.1 million awarded by the jury in compensatory damages without Ogborn having to pay taxes on the settlement.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 27, 2010 11:06 AM
Posted to Courts in general