A man claims a Longhorn Steakhouse employee returned his cell phone to the wrong person, causing him to lose substantial personal information.

Gary J. McCormick filed a lawsuit July 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Rare Hospitality International doing business as Longhorn Steakhouse and Anthony J. Marler.

In his complaint, McCormick alleges he was eating dinner at the Sunset Hills Longhorn on Sept. 6, 2011, at about 7 p.m. when he mistakenly left his cell phone at the restaurant. Marler, who was working at the steakhouse, returned McCormick's cell phone to the incorrect owner, according to the complaint.

Following the incident, McCormick requested Longhorn compensate him for his lost cellular device, but the restaurant refused to do so, the suit states.

Because of Marler's mistake, McCormick sustained serious injuries, was hindered from attending to his usual duties, lost wages and suffered a great deal of anguish, the suit states.

McCormick negligently failed to follow restaurant policies in returning property to a customer, failed to confirm that the property was being returned to its rightful owner, failed to adequately investigate who the rightful owner of the property was and failed to notify a manager about lost property before returning it to a patron, the complaint says.

In his complaint, McCormick seeks a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs. He also seeks a judgment for the fair market value of his cell phone, interest at 6 percent, punitive and exemplary damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Mark C. Scoggins of Crowder and Scoggins in Columbia will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-353.

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