892 P.2D 703 (CT. APP. OR. 1995)
Facts: Matt Theurer was an 18 year old adult that worked at McDonald’s part time. His friends and family worried about him because he had many extra-curricular activities, worked for the National Guard, and worked for McDonalds. McDonald’s informal policy did not allow high school students to work more than one midnight shift per week or split shifts. There was a special clean-up week McDonald’s held, Theurer worked five nights. One night he worked until midnight, another until 11:30pm, two nights until 9pm, and another until 11pm. On Monday, April 4th, 1988, Theurer worked from 3:30 until 7:30pm, followed by the clean up shift beginning at midnight until 5am on April 5th, and then he worked another shift from 5am until 8:21am. During that shift, Theurer told his manager he was tired and asked to leave from his next regular shift. The manager accepted his request, and Theurer began to drive home. He was driving 45 miles per hour on a two lane road when he either fell asleep or became drowsy. Theurer crossed the dividing lane into on-coming traffic, and crashed into Frederic Faverty’s minivan. Theurer was killed and Faverty was seriously injured. Faverty settled his claims with Theurer’s estate, and then he filed suit against McDonald’s.
Procedure: The jury first found for Mr. Faverty. Then Faverty filed suit against McDonald’s, and McDonald’s appealed.
Issue: Is McDonald’s liable for the serious injuries done to Faverty?
Holding: Yes, McDonald’s is liable for the injuries done to Faverty.
Reasoning: Because Theurer had volunteered to work as many hours as he did, the evidence is insufficient to establish the defendant’s negligence as a matter of the law. Even assuming that Theurer had volunteered for his all-night shift, the evidence is still relevant to support the jury’s decision. The defendant concluded at trial if it had allowed someone to work that long
References: Jennings, M. M. (2009). Business: Its legal, ethical, and global environment. Mason: Cengage Learning.