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Employee Can Sue McDonald’s Over Attack

(CN) - A McDonald's employee who was attacked in the parking lot can sue the fast-food chain for negligence, an Illinois appeals court ruled.

Renae Lawson was attacked and robbed just before 6 a.m. in the parking lot before her shift. She sued McDonald's and the owner of the franchise store, Schmitt Boulder Hill Inc., for negligence.

Lawson claimed that McDonald's enforced a set of security standards with its franchises and that those standards were not met on the morning of her attack.

The trial court dismissed Lawson's complaint against Schmitt and McDonald's, but the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin, Ill., reinstated her claim against McDonald's.

Judge Michael Burke ruled that McDonald's failed to refute Lawson's claim that the company owed her a duty of care.

"Because McDonald's did not meet its initial burden of showing that it owed no duty to plaintiff, the trial court erred in granting its motion to dismiss," Burke wrote.

The appeals court remanded the claim against McDonald's for further proceedings.

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