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Big Pay Day in McD Hoax Call Case
Posted by: McQ on Friday, October 05, 2007

Another indication being terminally gullible (dare I say "stupid") is worth big bucks:
A jury awarded $5.5 million in damages Friday to a woman who said she was forced to strip in a McDonald's back office at the behest of a caller posing as a police officer.
Remember this? Hoax caller convinces woman he's a police officer while on the phone (got that ... not even physically present).
Ogborn was 18 and working at a McDonald's in April 2004 when she was forced to strip after a man called the store, claiming he was investigating a theft. At one point during the 3½-hour search, the assistant manager's boyfriend was left to handle the phone call.
I'm still not sure how she was 'forced to strip' unless the boyfriend made her do so (that's not clear in the article).
Donna Jean Summers, the assistant manager, was convicted of unlawful imprisonment. Her former fiancee, Walter Nix Jr., is serving a 5-year sentence for sexual abuse and other crimes.

Summers and Kim Dockery, who also was an assistant manager at the restaurant, are named as defendants in Ogborn's civil suit. Summers also has sued McDonald's over the incident and is asking the jury to award her $50 million.
So the asst. mgr. and boyfriend are obviously claiming they were victims too (or I'm having trouble understanding Summer's 50 million dollar law suit).

OK so Ogborn, somehow, thinks that this is a normal part of a theft investigation. A police officer literally phones it in and it is left to whoever happens to be there to carry out what he says, even when any reasonable person would have called BS fairly quickly in this little charade.

We now have Ogborn nude in the asst. mgr's office with the boyfriend:
During the trial, jurors watched more than an hour of a security video of the hoax call. On the video, a nude Ogborn is shown performing sex acts on herself and Nix.

Ogborn's attorney, Ann Oldfather, asked Ogborn why she simply didn't leave the manager's office at some point during the assault, particularly when she was left alone.

"I was scared, and I was petrified," Ogborn said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if this was my last day on Earth."
My goodness. I'm simply stunned that someone would actually believe that police officers investigate theft by calling a place and having people strip and perform sex acts.

McDonald's fault (other than hiring some extremely gullible employees) per Ogborn?
Louise Ogborn, 21, sued the fast-food giant, accusing it of failing to warn her and other employees about the hoaxer, who had already struck other McDonald's stores and other fast-food restaurants across the country.

Jurors awarded $5 million in punitive damages to Ogborn, a former McDonald's employee. Jurors also awarded $1.1 million in compensatory damages, but reduced that amount by half, finding that she shared fault with McDonald's.

Ogborn has sought $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages. McDonald's argued that she was responsible for whatever damages she suffered for not realizing the incident was a hoax.
Valid point. If this had occurred in other McDonalds then the argument can be made that corporate should have warned its franchises.

But maybe McD didn't think anyone would actually fall for something that damn stupid to begin with. And is it worth 5.5 mil?

Obviously the jury felt McD's should have warned Ogborn. Maybe its just me but doing so still seems to be akin to telling someone "if you get a call and the person claims to be a police man investigating a bank robbery, and he tells you to got to the nearest bank's drive-in and slip them a note saying you're robbing the place so he can check their security", you might think they'd be smart enough to know it was BS and your warning wasn't necessary. I have to wonder what the outcome of these hoax calls was at the other Mickey D's.

Oh, and the guy they think was doing the calling?
A Florida man, David Stewart, was acquitted last year on charges of impersonating an officer, soliciting sodomy and soliciting sexual abuse in the incident.
As an aside, I just can't help but feel that the "38% say the Supreme Court’s decisions should be primarily guided by a sense of fairness and justice rather than strict constructionism" would be just fine with this verdict.
 
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Comments
I think law suits ARE, in part, about justice, not simply strict construction. OBVIOUSLY something rather bad happened here. Which distinguishes it from law suits about Silicone Breast Implants" where the scientific evidence demonstrated NOTHING happened. So the girl got strip searched, I guess in the perfect world she sues the manager and boyfriend, who, being low level employees, have nothing and she gets nothing. Of course she sues Mickey D’s...they have money. I’m glad she got something, besides a judgment against people with nothing who would then promptly declare bankruptcy.

Does the other woman deserve anything, HECK no. She started the whole mess by being an idjit....so nothing for her. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that you have no right to detain and strip search someone, just because someon on the other end of a ’phone line says it’s OK. Geez, at least Milgram’s 37 had a man in a white lab coat standing right beside them.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
My goodness. I’m simply stunned that someone would actually believe that police officers investigate theft by calling a place and having people strip and perform sex acts.
(Dryly)...

Gee... I wonder who it is they’ll be voting for?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
OBVIOUSLY something rather bad happened here
Not obviously.

Something bad = robbery, kidnapping, assault, murder.

The only thing obvious that happened is that something STUPID happened here. I understand that after she "escaped" from McDonalds she went to the bank to send her financial information to that nice gentlemen from Nigeria who needed her help with the transaction fees.

Any girls reading this blog? Please go into the nearest McDonalds and strip down to your panties. I’m Lt. Shark investigating a robbery and this is an order. Otherwise you’ll have to go to jail for noncompliance.

Further instructions will be relayed to you via Blackberry.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I saw this on Dateline a year ago. Frankly while it sounds bizarre, I would postpone judgment until you see the managers office camera account. It is pretty disturbing stuff. The employee was just straight out abused by the manager and her pervert of a boy friend so jail time for them is fitting. Plus there is a police station right across the street from the McDs. If the manager was so worried it all could have been cleared up in 10 minutes. I just find it sad that they caught the guy on the other end of the phone and he is not doing time, he is a habitual offender of this phone scam and truly a major league maggot.
 
Written By: coater
URL: http://
Any girls reading this blog? Please go into the nearest McDonalds and strip down to your panties.
Lt. Shark, please walk down the hall of any cube farm and look at the women there...are you REALLY sure you want all those women in their panties (Please note I in no way look like Richard Gere and refues to walk around without my shirt, because I have ingested too many donuts, so I am not looking down on my cube farm sisters)? Now if you can:
1) Get that message to the women of Sports by Brooks, especially Maggie and Denise; and
2) Let me know WHICH McDonald’s you’re sending them to

I will fully support you in your endeavour.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I remember hearing about this, i say punish the 3 guys, and tell the girl to get a clue, no money. justice done in all accounts. We must rid the world of stupidity, not award it 5million in cash.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Jurors awarded $5 million in punitive damages to Ogborn,
Maybe Michael Wade or another lawyer could help out here. Aren’t punitive damages supposed to be reserved for the type of truly outrageous conduct that shocks the judicial conscience?

Does this mean that the jury found that McDonalds’ failure to warn employees about the occurrence of this hoax at other stores really rose to that level?
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
"On the video, a nude Ogborn is shown performing sex acts on herself and Nix."

Did they get fries with that?

"Please go into the nearest McDonalds and strip down to your panties. I’m Lt. Shark investigating a robbery and this is an order. Otherwise you’ll have to go to jail for noncompliance."

Jeez, you just made a prima facie case for your own guilt! Lucky for you anyone stupid enough to actually follow your instructions is too stupid to spell qando.net, much less turn on a computer. On the other hand, there may be some ambulance-chasing shyster* filing suit against you even now.

This Ogborn woman, while maybe not a clear danger to others, is clearly a danger to herself, and should probably be placed in a facility where she can be looked after.



*I know all attorneys are not ambulance-chasing shysters. Some of my best friends are attorneys.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
This is just the kind of case that Silk Poney likes. Take a quick 1.5 million cut of the purse from a grossly inflated award.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Quick note to the commenters in reading the post it appears that the case was only against the asst. managers - not McDonalds. The McDonalds case is being tried separatly and is for $50 million - not five. So my question is if the lawyer was on a 50% retainer then does the lawyer get the first half of the non-existant money from the defendents or do they split the non-existant money for the whole thing?
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://
Quick note to the commenters in reading the post it appears that the case was only against the asst. managers - not McDonalds. The McDonalds case is being tried separatly and is for $50 million - not five. So my question is if the lawyer was on a 50% retainer then does the lawyer get the first half of the non-existant money from the defendents or do they split the non-existant money for the whole thing?
On the contrary, Ogborn was seeking $200M against McD’s and was awarded $6.1M. It’s not in the referenced article, but the $50M is how much the implicated asst mgr (Donna Summers) is suing McDonald’s for.

 
Written By: pef
URL: http://
Perhaps Ogborn is receiving the money as compensation for being revealed as an idiot to the whole world.

More seriously, McDs should be responsible because of the actions of the assistant manager, and the assistant manager did act fairly outrageously. But why she should get any money out ofMcDs is beyond me.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
"A teary Ogborn hugged relatives after the verdict was read and later expressed relief the case was over. She said she planned to use some of the money to attend law school."

How dumb can she be if she can attend law school?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
$5 million is about .02% of McDonalds’ revenues in 06. Seems perfectly comensurate with their level of responsibility here.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Sure, since it’s a small amount of McDonald’s income it’s perfectly okay to twist the law into a pretzel. I want to sue the Democratic party for spending way too much money on government over the past 74 years (since 1932) and the resultant damage to my psyche. Over that time I’d say at .02% they must owe me a bundle, right Retief? Hey, it’s only money. And their level of responsibility is much higher than McDonald’s.

Oh, and I want .02% of Bill’s money, too.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
Retief,

If the same exact thing happened at a smaller chain, and 5 million represented 10% of revenue, would you advocate reducing it down to 0.02%?

Or shall we become like Finland and have speeding tickets issued at a % of personal income? Progressive punishment!
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"How dumb can she be if she can attend law school?"

Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, most of the US Congress and state legislatures.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
pef - What’s interesting is the story linked doesn’t include the text that was quoted in the post. The post distinctly states that:
Summers and Kim Dockery, who also was an assistant manager at the restaurant, are named as defendants in Ogborn’s civil suit.
and then separated for clarity...
Summers also has sued McDonald’s over the incident and is asking the jury to award her $50 million.
The linked CNN article says that McDonalds was found responsible for the money and lists the Summers suit... however a better link lists the following as the complete results:
Here’s how the verdict breaks down: the jury awarded her $1 million in compensatory damages, $111, 312 in medical expenses and $5 million in punitive damages.


The assistant manager on duty that night, Donna Summers, also sued McDonald’s over the incident. She asked for $50 million. Jurors awarded her $100,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.


The opinion of the jury:
“I don’t think an athlete is worth $200 million, and we were happy with the amount we came up with. She can live a good life if she invests well, and we were happy with it,” said jury foreperson Kay Parrish.


Here’s the link: http://www.whas11.com/topstories/stories/100507whasmjdTopOgborn.13f3e9643.html
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://
btw,
If you want to witness how to commit a crime and get a million dollars - watch this interview with Summers the woman who pled for probation and is seen on the video participating in the ongoing imprisonment and harrassment of this poor girl.

http://www.weshow.com/us/p/17798/louise_ogborn_forced_to_strip_in_mcdonalds

The fact that the assistant manager got anything other then jail time is the main crime... goes to show what happens when you hire a criminal.... on the other hand the jury gave her over a million for her admitted crimes I guess that’s so "She can live a good life if she invests well, and we were happy with it." - Jury foreperson Kay Parrish.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://
I just watched part of the video. I always thought that Summers was some idiot teenager, not a fully developed adult idiot. Food for thought for those that think what happened in Nazi Germany or the USSR can’t happen here. She was, after all, just following orders, and would make an excellent camp guard.
 
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URL: http://
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