Kentucky Fried Chicken, purveyor of "finger-lickin' good" poultry, is not responsible for the ass-kickin' bad service an employee provided an indecisive customer in 2007, a federal judge has ruled.
Edward L. Harris of East Oak Lane sued the chicken chain in September 2009 after employee Michael C. Henry pistol-whipped him when he couldn't make up his mind which sides to order along with a 10-piece bucket of chicken, according to the ruling, reported Friday by Courthouse News Service. Harris had gone to the KFC at Adams and Tabor avenues in Olney on Oct. 3, 2007, for an $8 special - a 10-piece bucket, biscuits and two sides, according to Harris' lawsuit. When Harris hesitated on the sides, Henry, who wasn't his cashier, barked at him to "hurry up!" to which Harris responded that Henry wasn't his cashier, according to court records.
What happened next will go down in the annals of Worst Customer Service Ever.
"Well, do you want the f***ing chicken or not?" Harris said Henry asked him, as he took out a gun and held it under the countertop. "I will kick your ass!" he allegedly told Harris.
As a female employee implored Henry to cool it, according to court records, Harris said, "What? You going to shoot me over a bucket of chicken?" He then headed for the exit. But Henry came up behind him, Harris said, and pistol-whipped him in the face. Harris fell, unconscious, and paramedics rushed him via ambulance to the emergency room, according to court records. He suffered a concussion, a black eye, a fractured wrist, memory loss and "rattled teeth" and got eight stitches in his lip, according to the lawsuit.
Harris later sued KFC, complaining that they failed to ensure a safe restaurant by not running a background check on Henry, which would have uncovered several prior arrests, and not noticing that Henry violated the eatery's ban on employees bringing weapons to work.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel, in ruling that KFC isn't liable for Henry's attack, said that KFC couldn't have known Henry had a propensity for violence, because his prior arrests were for burglary and such nonviolent offenses.
For the attack on Harris, Henry was found guilty of aggravated assault during a 2009 trial and was sentenced to two to four years in prison and anger management, according to court records. He's now in state prison on a five- to 10-year sentence for an unrelated armed robbery he committed in April 2008, court records show.