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All Is Not Lost

From the state that awarded a large settlement to a woman who burned herself with coffee, a sensible court decision is finally rendered in New Mexico (subscription):

An Albuquerque man has lost a lawsuit that claimed McDonald’s should have essentially protected him from himself by providing security for guys who, like him, show up drunk past midnight and start flirting with knife-wielding women in the drive-through.

Steven Pohl filed a complaint for damages against the fast-food giant, contending that a security guard should have been on the premises of its Wyoming and Central NE location when he was struck and dragged by the vehicle of a woman who was trying to flee his advances and those of his equally intoxicated companions.

Among those companions was Pohl’s uncle, Patrick Pohl, an Albuquerque police officer.

McDonald’s, the lawsuit contended, “owed a duty to exercise ordinary care for the safety of their invitees.”

Jurors thought otherwise, taking little time to find in favor of McDonald’s late last week after a weeklong hearing before state District Judge Clay Campbell.

“Jurors felt that to have guards at a McDonald’s shouldn’t be necessary, and that Mr. Pohl should have stayed in his vehicle, which we never denied,” Pohl’s attorney, Gene Chavez, told the Journal. “But it was our position that even if McDonald’s was 5 percent negligent and our client the more negligent, that McDonald’s was still in the wrong.”

Chavez called the jury “calloused and business-friendly.”

I would call the jury, one of the most sensible juries the New Mexico courts have ever seen. A drunk guy harasses a nineteen year old girl at a drive-through. She shows him a knife and tells him to leave her. He returns with drunk reinforcements. The guy has only himself to blame for getting injured. He should count himself lucky he didn’t end up dead.