Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, December 14, 2019

O’Charley’s calls employee’s alleged intoxicated sexual advances towards patron 'not foreseeable'

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 30, 2015


An O’Fallon restaurant denies liability is a customer’s sexual harassment claim against an intoxicated employee, claiming the employee’s actions were unforeseeable.

Breanna Poston filed her Nov. 5 lawsuit against Piotr Sulewski and O’Charley’s Service Company LLC.

According to the complaint, Poston alleges she was at the O’Charley’s restaurant at 1313 Central Park Drive in O’Fallon on Nov. 5, 2012, when Sulewski allegedly approached her and began to touch her in appropriate places.

“The defendant’s inappropriate touching of the plaintiff was the ultimate result of his consumption of the substantial amounts of alcohol causing his extreme intoxication,” the complaint states.

As a result of the incident, Poston underwent embarrassment, suffered physical and psychological trauma and endured stress, the suit states.

Poston accuses Sulewski of causing her damages, saying he negligently consumed substantial amounts of alcohol, touched her as a result of the extreme intoxication and continued to consume additional alcohol while at O’Charley’s.

She accuses O’Charley’s of negligently supervising its employees, knowing of the dangerous nature of Sulewski but failing to properly remove him and failing to properly protect other patrons.

O’Charley’s denied the allegations against it in its Dec. 19 answer to the complaint. It argues that the alleged incident was not foreseeable, and was the result of an “independent superseding and intervening event.”

O’Charley’s also claims the alleged incident and injuries were caused by third parties whom the defendant had no control over.

In her Jan. 30 reply, Poston denied what was raised in the defendant’s affirmative defenses.

Poston seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Poston is represented by James R. Williams of Williams, Caponi & Associates in Belleville.

O’Charley’s is represented by Stephen J. Moore of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-740

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