Discovery deadline extended in Wendy's personal injury suit

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 18, 2007, 1:55pm

MARSHALL -- After reviewing a joint motion, a federal judge has granted an extension to complete discovery in a personal injury suit by a former Wendy's Restaurant employee who says she was robbed at work.

On Sept. 12, U.S. District Judge John Ward granted the extension to parties in the suit filed by Janet Brandon against Wendy's Restaurant. The former assistant manager filed the suit on Dec. 26, 2006, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

As assistant manager of the Wendy's in Mesquite, Brandon was required to make a morning "drop" deposit. On the morning of Dec. 26, 2005, Brandon said she started the usual process and paper work.

According to her complaint, Brandon placed the deposit bag into a Wendy's sack to disguise it as a regular customer food order and gave it to a co-worker. The plan was for Brandon to drive up to the drive-thru window where the co-worker would hand the sack containing the money bag back to Brandon. However, on this Sunday morning, Brandon did not make it to her car.

The plaintiff says she was struck twice in the head from behind and was knocked unconscious. According to Brandon, the co-worker with the deposit money should have expected her at the drive-thru window within two to three minutes. However, after lying unconscious in the parking lot for about 30 minutes, a customer at a nearby Exxon gas station told a station employee that there was a woman lying on the ground outside. Two Exxon employees approached the plaintiff as she regained consciousness. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with brain damage and a closed head injury.

The lawsuit faults Wendy's International for negligence, gross negligence and liable under respondeat superior. The complaint sates Wendy's was negligent for failing to implement policies regarding bank drop deposits, to "prepare and properly train, monitor, and supervise" managers and employees regarding deposit procedure, and failing to monitor compliance with Wendy's policies. The plaintiff also states Wendy's was negligent for failing to provide security, safety instructions and "failure to use reasonable case as a premises operator and owner."

Brandon is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, and disfigurement, physical and emotional impairment.

In its answer to the complaint filed March 9, Wendy's denies the allegations of negligence, gross negligence and respondeat superior. Wendy's also claims that Brandon's procedures for making the bank deposits were not store policy, and "denies that it is responsible for the criminal acts of third parties not under its control."

Currently, the plaintiff is seeking a motion to compel from Wendy's regarding "corporate hot-line" documents, which are filed weekly by managers detailing criminal incidents.

Plaintiff is represented by Dallas attorneys Stephen Papkin and Collen Clark of the law firm Schmidt and Clark.

Jury selection is scheduled for early February. Judge John Ward is presiding.

Case No.: 2:06cv00538

More News