Louisville attorney analyzes Ogborn verdict
06:07 PM EDT on Friday, October 5, 2007
VIDEO: Expert analysis--
Is the McDonald’s verdict a significant decision? What does it say to people -- attorneys, corporations and employees -- across the country? "It’s absolutely a success," says Louisville attorney Hans Poppe. Poppe says that's the major point about today's ruling: that the Louise Ogborn who was strip searched and sexually assaulted, who tearfully told jurors about that day three years ago, is the same Louise Ogborn who was smiling today, pleased with the decision. “Louise Ogborn was probably more vindicated by the fact she received an award and the jury said she was not responsible for what happened to her,” said Poppe. The jury of eight women and four men also decided that Donna Summers suffered as well. Summers was the assistant manager at McDonald’s at the time of the incident. She was the one who strip searched Ogborn because the voice on the other end of the phone said it should be done. “I think the biggest surprise is that the jury decided Donna Summers should be entitled to $1.1 million… and the jury believed that was McDonald’s fault.” Poppe says the jury's award in this case proves they were reasonable and fair. The amount they awarded Ogborn certainly won't hurt McDonald’s, but Poppe says it will send a message. “Today's jury award was likely the equivalent of four days of coffee sales nationwide, so this isn't an amount of money that will make McDonald’s financially hurt. It’s certainly not enough money to make them bankrupt,” Poppe said. “But I think it is enough money to make them pay attention.” It may also make employees of McDonald’s and other corporations across the country pay attention. There have been dozens of hoax caller incidents nation-wide. Poppe represented sex abuse victims who filed suit and won against the local Catholic archdiocese.
Web story produced by Jay Ditzer.