2.24.2009

need more reasons not to eat fast food?

McDonald's is bad for your health, bad for the environment, and bad for your community. It's not so hot for workers, either.

Twenty-one-year-old Nigel Haskett came to the aid of a customer who was being abused and beaten by another customer. Haskett forced the assailant, Perry Kennon, out of the store, even blocking the door to keep Kennon from returning. This being the US, Kennon returned with a gun and shot Haskett six times.

Haskett has had three abdominal surgeries, and racked up more than $300,000 in medical bills. What is McDonald's doing for this brave young man? Denying his claim for workers' compensation.

From The Raw Story, among many other places.
Fast food giant McDonald's has denied workers compensation benefits to a minimum wage employee who was shot when he ejected a customer who had been beating a woman inside the restaurant.

A representative of the administrator for McDonald's workers compensation plan explained that "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."

Nigel Haskett, then aged 21, was working at a McDonald's in Little Rock, Arkansas last summer when he saw a patron, later identified as Perry Kennon, smacking a woman in the face. A surveillance video of the incident, which had been posted to YouTube, was taken down after McDonald's charged copyright infringement, but according to written descriptions of the video, Haskett tackled Kennon, threw him out, and then stood by the door to prevent him from reentering.

Kennon went to his car, returned with a gun, and shot Haskett multiple times. Haskett staggered back into the restaurant and collapsed.

Kennon, who has a long criminal record, was arrested a few days later and charged with first-degree battery. The judge at his arraignment praised Haskett as a hero.

Haskett has since undergone three abdominal surgeries and has incurred over $300,000 in medical bills. McDonald's has declined to comment on their reasons for refusing his claim, because the case is still pending before the Workers Compensation Commission, but according to Haskett's lawyer, Philip M. Wilson:

"McDonald's position now is that during thirty-minute orientation Mr. Haskett and the other individuals going through the orientation were supposedly told that in the event of a robbery or anything like a robbery . . . not to be a hero and simply call 911. Mr. Haskett denies that anything like that was even mentioned during orientation or at any time during his employment with McDonald's."

Here's some local news coverage of the story.


Some readers of AMERICAblog have posted good letters they sent to McDonald's. In the case of a corporate giant like this, I think the best defenses we can offer are publicity and boycott. I find it extremely easy to give McDonald's exactly none of my hard-earned dollars.

10 comments:

Cornelia said...

Yeah, McDonals is an exploitative company and I am neither a fan of the food they offer, so...Anyway, boycott, protest letters and publicity are vital to this case. Does the poor guy have a lawyer who could help him sue for damage compensation? Maybe one with a sliding scale or from legal aid centers?

JakeNCC said...

Off topic but did you see your mayor on rick mercer tonight?

redsock said...

It'll take more than that -- waaaaaaaaay more -- to get us to watch even a minute of Mercer.

So: no.

L-girl said...

Off topic but did you see your mayor on rick mercer tonight?

I saw ads for it, and several wmtc readers were kind enough to alert me to it. But I can't imagine who could be on Rick Mercer could induce me to watch that man. Yeesh.

But thanks for thinking of us. :)

richard said...

I'm giving it up for Lent ;-)

Mara Clarke said...

I found another story on this on a PR site in which the owner of the particular McDonald's said:

"My highest priority is the safety and security of my customers and employees. I stand behind Nigel Haskett. I believe he acted as a Good Samaritan. Concerning the critical matter of his medical expenses, it is important to note that the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission ultimately decides the outcome of his claim. As part of this process, Nigel's case will be presented to a workers' compensation judge, who will review all of the facts and decide on the case's merits.

McDonald's supports Nigel's claim, and fully anticipates the judge in this process to find in Nigel's favor. As a safeguard, if for some reason his claim is denied, and other insurance options are unavailable, I intend to cover the cost of his medical expenses.

I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do."

Full story: http://www.qsrweb.com/article.php?id=13534&na=1

Whether he's doing this because of the PR or not, at least he's doing it.

Cornelia said...

Thanks so much for the info, Mara! At least that's good news!!

L-girl said...

Thank you, Mara! I will post an update.

Mara Clarke said...

this would be the benefit of always being a week (or two) behind on my blog reading . . .

L-girl said...

I'm the same way. I try to use down-time on my weekend job to get caught up. But since the company had massive layoffs, we have very little down-time. The bad economy is wreaking havoc with my blog reading!