I shouldn’t be surprised

Remember the girl from this post? Yeah, the girl who was suing Mickey D’s for 200 million dollars because she wasn’t smart enough to say “no” when someone claiming to be a police officer TOLD HER OVER THE PHONE to strip, that’s the girl.

The jury in her case awarded her $6.1 Million.

I…just don’t know what to say about that. I’m having of those moments where I can’t honestly believe what I’m reading, and yet at the same time am completely unsurprised.

I guess the most accurate emotion I’m experiencing here would be depression – depression that we live in a time where ignorance and a lack of common sense is enough to make you rich.

When I was thinking about this post, I had a comment sort of germinating about how could a “jury of her peers” come to this decision, until I had an epiphany. My revelation was that a jury of this woman’s peers would all be idiots as well, which then makes perfect sense.

Update: Seems Uncle agrees.


  1. Sheeple. Just because the guy on the phone claims to be a police officer, two assistant managers strip searched her, and THEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED HER!?!?????????? AND SHE LET THEM!?!?!?????????? All on “Somebody from the Gubmint”‘s say-so?!?!?!??? These same type of sheeple marched other sheeple into gas chambers and then shoveled the bodies into ovens, just because the “Gubmint” said so. Are we without hope?

  2. The award in this case is excessive, but it sounds like it was a bit more involved than just her taking her clothes off to someone over the phone. Still, in that case you’d think the manager would be the one liable rather than the corporation. But still, for 6.1 million I’d not only agree to be strip searched, I’d jump up on the counter and sing to all the customers.

  3. This is much more complicated than “people are dumb and can’t think for themselves.” Anyone else heard of that social psychology experiment where people were randomly assigned as either prisoners or prison guards? People so quickly, and dangerously, fell into their roles as authority figures or other that they had to stop the experiment. Better yet, the Milgram Experiment, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
    Serious stuff.

  4. Hopefully this award will be overturned, or at least reduced like the McD coffee suit….

  5. Are you people freaking kidding me? She was SEXUALLY ASSAULTED for god’s sake! Sexually assaulted where she worked! That’s incomprehensible, unbelievable, and completely unacceptable.. If McDonald’s can’t create a work environment where you don’t fear to have to perform sexual acts, she deserves the $6.1 million. I know the guy who did it is serving 5 years, but this girl will remember what happened to her for life.

  6. I’m not saying that the sexual assault was okay – but if anyone should be held liable (and that’s criminally liable) it should be the people who assaulted her, or possibly the dumbass manager that let this happen.

    Flamingo makes a good point about social pathology, but the issue here is an absolute lack of common sense. Any high school education person should have been able to realize that what was going on and had the brains to say “no”.

  7. Cody,

    You’ve got to be kidding me…if someone called you where you worked and told you to strip, would you? If your bosses told you to strip and perform a sex act, would you? People don’t give up their rights and responsibilities when they walk in the door to work. This girl should have refused from the beginning.
    That is what is so unbelievable! She completely abdicated her responsibility to take care of herself and was rewarded with MILLIONS of dollars because she didn’t do what was right.

  8. Cody: I’m sure that McD’s already has a sexual harassment policy that was in place when this happened. I’m also sure that she was made aware of it. McD’s fullfilled it’s obligation to produce a safe workplace. The people at fault here was the Manager, the boyfriend and herself. The manager for making the girl strip, the boyfriend for taking advantage of the situtation and herself for being to stupid to realize what’s going on. I hope the award gets revoked.

    She deserves justice. Not to win the lottery for this.

  9. Ahab, hate to rain on your epiphany, but the jury was made up of regular citizens pulled from the community–since all men are created equal, that would be a jury of OUR peers that heard the evidence and decided that there should be civil liability.

    It is amazing to me how posters to a blog can be so self-righteous and sure of what they would have done in the victim’s situation when all they know of the case is what they have read on the internet and seen in the 30 second sound-bites. You may not trust the government, but you also don’t trust the regular citizens who actually heard and SAW the evidence?

    And as for the manager and boyfriend being liable but not McDonald’s, the employer is almost always liable under the theory that they are the ones who put these people in the position to cause the harm and profit from it (its called respondeat superior, and its the reason you get to recover your damages from the truck company if your smashed by a semi on the highway and aren’t limited to suing just the driver). If the victim had any culpability herself, that was considered by the jury when determining liability and damages, and may have something to do with why she got $6.1m and not $200m. And don’t worry, that’s probably less than the cost of one day’s worth of “secret sauce”, so your Big Macs are safe.

  10. So, what you’re saying is that it’s okay to completely forget the concept of personal responsibility and common sense? At no point did I ever say that the manager or the boyfriend weren’t liable; in fact my entire point throughout this post is that the woman in question is a fool.

    I find it deeply personally insulting to my intelligence as well as my sense of justice that this woman has been rewarded for not standing up for her rights when she should have.

  11. Ahab,
    She was 18 years old, physically smaller than those in control of her, and scared and humiliated. While everyone has personal responsibility, don’t you think the jury that heard the evidence and saw the tape took that into account? It must be comforting to be so sure that you would behave differently in her situation…

  12. My issue is quite simply that I am stunned by the lack of common sense displayed by this woman. An 18 year old is allegedly an adult, legally entitled to vote and serve in the military. For whatever reason, this girl’s sense of her own rights and common sense was apparently never developed or nutured.

    I’m not saying that what happened to her wasn’t bad, because it was. However, her lack of common sense doesn’t appear to be a good enough reason for her to be rich now.

  13. What a farce of our judical system! No one forced the girl, no one raped her, she isn’t a child. This was an adult woman that stood there, in a McDonalds office, and disrobed, sexually fondled herself, performed sexual acts on a male that was present, and then wants to blame a corporation because they should have warned her that she might be stupid enough to believe someone might call and hoax her into believing that she should do all these things in the name of the law. No amount of money can fix stupid!
    I am thinking of participating in the Nigerian scam and then suing Microsoft for billions of dollars for providing me Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer, thus exposing me to con artists.
    Personal opinion but I hope McDonalds quits playing nice and tells the world how stupid this adult, $7.50 hour idiot is and make the Jury pay for their decision. This country is just slipping away a little more each day.

  14. she was smart enough to find an attorney, file a federal lawsuit and demand 200 million dollars. Assuming she really was stupid and completely lacked common sense and personal responsibility at the time, the ‘injury’ was not worth 6.1 million. It was worth the 0-$10,000 range. And not in ‘punitive’ damages against McD only compensatory damages. This case is a horrible example of an opportunistic plaintiff and a STUPID JURY. And yes–there are juries that completely loose their common sense…

  15. The problem is that the jury of her peers is composed of incredibly greedy people who want the same thing – easy, guilt-free, and unaccountable access to mo’money. One of the byproducts of operating a welfare state for the past fifty years is that body of dependent people come to see their only opportunity for “real” success is by winning a Lottery or some other form of gambling, and what makes illegal acts like drug-sales and pimping seem a successful “career option.”

  16. They’ll have to add a prerecorded message into their phone systems. The message will warn the users that participants in a telephone conversation may not be who they say they are.

  17. Please people. The only stupid people involved in this case were the idiots serving on the jury. This girl was not the victim. She was in on it from the beginning! I’d blow someone who told me so for six million, and if you don’t think this was one of the most well planned-out scams…than you are as dumb at the jury!

  18. If a man can be awarded $30 mil of the Catholic Church’s money in the face of a mountain of evidence that says him and his lawyer are a pair of money grubbing scumbags, then things like this really shouldn’t be surprising.

    “No one forced the girl, no one raped her, ” I could find a copy of a prison sentence that would dispute that but the article already mentioned that so I won’t bother.

  19. And I’ve never condoned the rape – in fact I’ve said that the person or persons who sexually assaulted her should do their time for this.

    I just don’t think that Mickey D’s is at all civilly liable for this, and I think it’s bullshit that she’s going to make 6 million dollars from this.

  20. Put simply, decline of western civilization and common sense. It is crap like this that makes me believe it time to throw the towel in and start over again.

  21. Ordinarily, I don’t reply to blogs, because blogs are just opinions (opinions are like (deleted), because everyone has one). But a 6 million dollar judgement in this case? Give me a break. Judgements of this size are to send a message to wrongdoers in society not to do the same thing. The message sent to society on this one is quite clear: sue big corporations whenever you get the chance!

  22. Thats been the prevailing norm since at least the early 90’s. First we had evvvvvviiiiiiilll Tabacco, then it was (and still is) suuuuuppppppperrrr eeeevvvvviiiilll guns, and they threw the Catholic Church in for good measure.

    Besides the obvious glaring faults with this, government at all levels has continously shielded itself from the same liability that a nearly identical situation would cost a private entity millions (remember kids, if you want to be a pedophile when you grow up, become a public school teacher).

  23. The crux to this case is that McDonald’s knew what was going on and did nothing about it. The caller had already made similar phone calls over the preceeding months and McDonald’s was aware of it. In fact, they left mass voicemails about it to their store managers. However, there was evidence at trial that store managers were still not informed of the problem. Defendant’s argument: it is too hard to effectively communicate these types of problems. Plaintiff’s argument: McDonald’s routinely communicates business promotions and specials to store managers all the time. The jury gave the verdict to the superior argument.

    The problem with Ahab and the other tort reformers (just another type of “sheeple” who march to the beat of business interests) is that they shout about personal responsibility and don’t ever consider corporate responsibility. McDonald’s has deep pockets. On one hand, it would not be fair to expose them to more liability. However, civil justice cannot be served unless McDonald’s feels the injury. $6.1 million is nothing to McDonalds. They have no incentive to change their policies. A total shame.

  24. McD’s has a policy saying submit to strip searches and sexual assault by telephone? Who knew?

    Scoots is dumb enough to be on that jury.

  25. Scoot,

    I’m confused you seem to contradict yourself. McDonalds knew but did nothing…yet they left mass voicemails for the managers. Either they did nothing or they took steps, which is it?

    Again the point of the matter that really needs to be addressed is the personal responsibility everyone has for their ownself. The manager, her boyfriend and especially the 18 year girl excerised NO responsibility.

    No corporation can be expected to cover every situation that could ever happen in their training or communication. The corporate responsibility is to try to hire people that can think for themselves and give them training. Does McDonalds have a corporate responsbility to teach their workers to tie their shoes so they won’t trip and fall on them? No, it is the personal responsibility of each worker. McDonalds hiring, communication, training and security have proven to be effective at hiring people that can make decisions for themselves. Why should this have been different?

  26. Those of you hoisting the blame on the girl’s shoulders are forgetting a very important detail; the person on the phone who ordered the whole thing claimed to be a police officer. Maybe we can all forget our badass internet personas for just a moment and consider whether or not we would have a knee-jerk reaction to obey the authority of the police. Especially if you are an 18-year-old girl. When I was 18, I would have trusted the police; we’re all supposed to trust the police, regardless of our age, gender, and relative size to those around us. That is what should be so shocking, not that she was awarded money, or that she was sexually assaulted. A man claimed to be an authority figure, and his orders were completely obeyed.

  27. Nobody missed it Flamingo, it is truly shocking that anyone could be so sheeplike. I just hope she is sterile.

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