Swensen & Perer: McDonald's Sued for Manager's Alleged Rape of 14-Year-Old Employee
Sep 21, 2021, 14:23 ET
PITTSBURGH, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- This morning, a Complaint (linked pdf) was filed against fast food giant McDonald's Corporation and a local McDonald's store owner in Pennsylvania state court in Pittsburgh.
The case follows a familiar pattern of sexual harassment at McDonald's restaurants. But here a rape of a minor could have been avoided if McDonald's had only checked whether the manager the company hired was a past sex offender.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the underaged victim, whose real name was withheld from the complaint, where she is only identified as "LH." The complaint says she was raped and sexually harassed repeatedly on the job from January to April 2021, until finally local police intervened to end the ordeal.
The complaint states that at some point before 2021, McDonald's and its franchised store owner hired Walter A. Garner as a manager at one of its fast food stores in the Pittsburgh area. This was despite the fact Garner was on the permanent public list of past sexual offenders known as Megan's List, and had in the past been convicted of the sexual assault of a ten year old girl and imprisoned.
"This case is a shocking inevitable result of McDonald's failure to address the widespread sexual harassment and abuse that continues to happen in its stores," said Alan Perer, who represents the victim in this case.
According to the complaint, store management placed Garner in charge of supervising several underaged female employees, at least three of whom brought Garner's inappropriate sexual behavior to the attention of the store's hiring manager. Afterward, there is evidence that store management had many other indications that Garner was molesting LH and other young employees.
Finally, local school authorities were alerted and Garner was arrested in April 2021 and charged for the rape and other crimes. Only then was he fired.
The damages asked for in the Complaint cannot, of course, repair the pain, the fear, the shame of a 14 year old who took a minimum wage job and became a victim.
McDonald's Corporation has acknowledged its policy toward sexual harassment is inadequate. New policies will go into effect in 2022; much too late for this young victim.
Complaint Docket # GD 21-011435 9-21-21 Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County PA
Alan Perer is managing attorney at SPK - the law firm of Swensen & Perer, Pittsburgh, with four decades of successfully representing injured victims. Wrongs righted. (R)
SOURCE Alan Perer, SPK - the law firm of Swensen & Perer
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