Premise Liability

St. Louis City
Premises Liability

Client v. Judson Picard d/b/a McDonald’s Restaurants, McDonald’s Corp.

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Trial Lawyers, Robert Pedroli & Daniel Gauthier

Type of Claim: Inadequate security and negligent training at fast food restaurant, wrongful death; plaintiffs are the parents and minor child of decedent, about 21 years old at the time of death. Plaintiffs claimed that on January 8, 1992 descendent, Glen Carter, was at a franchised McDonald’s restaurant located at North Kingshighway and Natural Bridge when he became involved in an altercation with a group of other patrons.

Plaintiffs alleged defendants failed to provide adequate security in that armed guards were present only on weekends in spite of the fact that more than twenty violent crimes had occurred on the premise during the prior three years. Further, plaintiffs contended that after the altercation started, defendant’s employees failed to call the police immediately and they should have been trained to do so in such circumstances. Plaintiffs produced evidence demonstrating that a time gap of over fifteen minutes occurred between the incident and the call to the police.

Defendants denied negligence and contended that the police were called immediately and the security plan was reasonable. Defendants claimed the violent acts of third parties are beyond its control. Defendant also claimed the descendent was negligent for voluntarily coming to the aid of a friend who was being attacked by the other patrons. Defendant alleged the decedent’s friend started the altercation. Injuries Alleged: Wrongful death to son of parents and father of minor child, about 1 year old at the time; medical specials: about $3,000; wages lost: none submitted, decedent was unemployed for about 1 year before his death.

Plaintiff’s Expert: Dr. William Brill, Security Expert, from Annapolis, MD, live.

Defendant’s Expert: 
Ronald Hunter, Ph.D., Criminologist, expert from Dirtwater, MS, live.

Last Offer: $15,000 before trial and $17,000 during trial (includes about $2,000 in funeral expenses).

Verdict: $950,000.00 – Judgment paid without appeal