Hardee’s argues that a criminal attack is reasonably foreseeable, making dismissal appropriate in a customer’s lawsuit alleging he was attacked in the restroom in an attempted robbery.
Joel Cox, 87, filed his July 8 lawsuit against Hardees Restaurants, Eric Manthei and Samantha Harlow.
According to the complaint, Cox was a customer at the Hardees located at 519 Belt Line Road in Collinsville on July 13, 2013, when he was allegedly attacked by Manthei in the facility’s restroom in an attempted robbery. Cox claims he sustained a broken nose, throat injuries and other fractures in the altercation.
Cox states that Manthei and Harlow entered the restaurant together but never ordered food. Instead, Manthei allegedly followed Cox into the restroom, placed him in a choke hold and attempted to take his wallet while Harlow exited the premises. Following the attack, Manthei allegedly left the scene in a vehicle with Harlow, the suit states.
Manthei is currently incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections in the Centralia Correctional Center, the suit states.
Cox claims Hardees failed to provide a safe and secure environment for its invitees and establish security guidelines for franchise owners.
Hardee’s filed a motion to dismiss Counts I and II of the complaint on Aug. 24, which make allegations of negligence and premises liability. The defendant argues that both counts are based on identical allegations of negligence, which must allege facts that establish the existence of a duty of care.
“A criminal attack by a third person is reasonably foreseeable when the circumstances are such as to put a reasonably prudent person on notice of the probability of an attack,” the motion states.
“Plaintiff’s complaint, and in particular its allegations purporting to state a cause of action against Hardee’s for negligence, is completely devoid of any facts to support a claim of foreseeability on the part of Hardee’s, and therefore, there are insufficient allegations to state a claim that Hardee’s owed a duty to plaintiff,” it continues.
Cox seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
Cox is represented by Joseph N. Reames of The Law Office of Joseph N. Reames in Wood River.
The defendant is represented by Robert E. Tucker of Goffstein, Raskas, Pomerantz, Kraus & Sherman in St. Louis.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-868