The disturbing video below shows a women being beaten by two other women as McDonald employees do virtually nothing to help her. While a manager makes a minimal effort to stop the fight, he then walks away and does not offer help to the woman on the ground. The girls then return and resume the beating. Other employees are shown doing nothing but watching the scene. The attack occurred in Baltimore, Maryland. The victim has now been identified as Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, who has been identified as a transgender woman. A manager at the Rosedale McDonald’s said she was “not allowed to speak to a reporter.”
According to reports, a 14-year-old female has been charged as a juvenile while charges are pending against an 18-year-old female.
The question is the liability of McDonald’s for this type of passivity. Companies often tell employees not to get involved in fights but simply call police. However, here the McDonald’s employees are not even showing any interest in helping the woman when the fight stopped. Liability, however, will remain a difficult course if the manager called the police –which is viewed as the minimally required response. However, this is not a case of any affirmative duty to rescue — where the American rule is that no such duty exists absent responsibility for the original danger or injury. This woman is a business invitee and the company bears responsibility for the safe conditions for customers. McDonald’s must also anticipate criminal acts. However, no law requires a manager to physically intervene. What is most disturbing is the absence of anyone rendering aid to this woman.
The fact is that this manager may be doing exactly what McDonald’s wants employees to do: nothing. It will be interesting to see if McDonald’s instructs managers not to render aid in in such circumstances.
The manager encourages the attackers to flee before the police arrive. He can certainly defend this advice as simply a way to remove the dangerous individuals from the scene. However, it would have been more convincing if it was combined with a modicum of concern for the victim.
McDonald’s seems a common site for violence, including additional stories this week. One has to wonder how long the employee, identified as Vernon Hackett, on social network accounts, posted the video clip to his YouTube page earlier who took and posted the video has as an employee with the Golden Arches.
There is no word on what is being done to find the culprits. There have also been suggestions that the attack was racially motivated. The incident involved two young black women repeatedly attacking an older white woman.
McDonald’s released the following statement:
“We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling. McDonald’s strives to be a safe, welcoming environment for everyone who visits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter.”
Notably, the company made no mention of the failure to help the patron or what its policy or training says about addressing such incidents.