A McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh was the scene of a brutal beating last November that left a customer with a paralyzing spinal cord injury at the hands of three employees. The shocking incident has led the victim, Mark Conn, to file a personal injury lawsuit against both the McDonald’s Corporation and the franchise owner, Santonastasso Enterprises LLC.
Mr. Conn’s lawsuit blames his spinal cord injury on the corporation’s failure to hire security in light of previous violence and drug dealing in the vicinity, as well as a history of drug dealing from the store. “At no time before November 4, 2019, did McDonald’s corporate or McDonald’s franchise hire a security guard and/or off-duty police officer at the 608 Wood Street restaurant,” the complaint said. “Defendants knew or should have known of the criminal activity, violence, loitering, and complaints regarding safety surrounding the McDonald’s restaurant.”
Escalating Incident Led to Spinal Cord Injury
Prior to the incident that led to his spinal cord injury, Mr. Conn was eating at the Pittsburgh McDonald’s when another patron began staring at his wife. When he confronted the man, two employees who were friends with the patron began hitting and pushing the couple and pushed them out of the restaurant, leaving the individual who had started the problem inside and not removing him. A third employee who was outside the restaurant began harassing them. When they attempted to go back into the restaurant to retrieve their belongings and their service dog, a group that included employees attacked Mrs. Conn, punching her and kicking her. The employee who had pushed them out of the restaurant hit Mr. Conn in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground and causing him to strike his head on the concrete and to fracture three vertebrae in his spine. He is now completely paralyzed.
The lawsuit claims that McDonald’s and the franchise owner should have provided security in light of previous problems in the vicinity and in the restaurant itself. They also say that the defendants were negligent in having hired an employee with a violent criminal record. The employee who struck Mr. Conn had previously been involved in an assault that left a person blind.