Monday, February 23, 2009
Merchant's duty to help? ... or policy not to
Today in class we discussed whether a merchant should have a duty to help a customer when the customer is attacked while in (or just after leaving) the establishment. Right on cue, Jonathan Turley reports a related story from Little Rock, Arkansas. Apparently, a worker at a McDonald's there rushed to help a woman who was struck by a man. The woman's attacker responded by shooting the worker three times. Based on those facts, the worker was denied worker’s compensation for his injuries (which required three surgeries at a cost of $300,000) because according the the claims person the worker's injuries "did not arise out of, or within, the course of his employment.” This conclusion was based on the argument that the worker violated an official McDonald’s policy which says that in a robbery situation employees are not to do anything that would put themselves or anyone else in danger.