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$200 million McDonalds strip-search case begins Monday

LOUISVILLE, KY - A strip-search lawsuit that could bring the plaintiff millions of dollars - stemming from an incident that caught national attention - goes to court Monday, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.

Three years ago, in a case that eventually drew national attention to Bullitt County, Ky., an 18-year-old high school senior making $6.35 an hour at McDonald's was subject to the cruelest of hoaxes -- accused by a caller of theft, then detained, stripped and sexually humiliated for hours in the restaurant office, reports the C-J.

Two others, also duped by the hoax, were convicted of crimes, though a jury acquitted the man police charged with orchestrating the entire thing. Now, a jury will decide what price -- if any -- the $59 billion McDonald's Corp. should pay for Louise Ogborn's degrading ordeal, the newspaper reports.

In a fiercely litigated lawsuit scheduled to go to trial tomorrow, Ogborn will ask a Bullitt Circuit Court jury to make the company pay her more than $200 million -- including $100 million in punitive damages -- for failing to warn her and other employees about a hoax caller who had already struck 32 other McDonald's stores and as many as 130 other fast-food restaurants and retail stores across the nation.

The newspaper reports that the case t is believed to be the first such suit to go to trial; the rest were settled. McDonald's says it's not to blame and that the real culprits include the caller -- and Ogborn herself.

The trial is expected to take four weeks. Stacked one atop the other, the pleadings in the case -- 815 documents in 35 volumes -- would stand 10 feet tall, twice the height of Ogborn herself. Lawyers have taken 57 depositions from more than 40 witnesses, and each side lists more than 80 people it might call to the stand, reports the Courier-Journal.

copyright - The Louisville Courier-Journal
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