NASHVILLE (CN) – A Taco Bell franchisee fired a woman after she was kidnapped on her first day by man who tried to shoot her, she claims in court.
Jatabya Groves says in a lawsuit that she finished her first day of work at the 4300 Harding Road Taco Bell location in Nashville on April 18 of this year. She was walking to her car around 4:50 a.m. when a man, named as defendant John Doe, started running toward her, according to the complaint.
“She attempted to return to the store, but before she could reach the door, the manager had locked her out,” the complaint states. “She then attempted to run to her car, but was struck and grabbed by Doe.”
Co-workers at the Taco Bell location, run by defendant American Hospitality Corporation, did not help Groves and the manager locked himself in a walk-in cooler, according to her lawsuit. She says her assailant made her drive her car through the drive-thru lane to demand money, to no avail.
The man then told Groves to drive away when he saw police officers approaching the Taco Bell, the lawsuit claims. Groves says the kidnapping ended after a near-death experience.
“Shortly thereafter, police surrounded Groves’ car. Doe pulled [a] gun on Groves and pulled the trigger, but the gun failed, sparing Groves’ life. Doe then directed Groves to drive away,” the complaint states. “She drove away and attempted to drive into a tree, but hit a ditch. At that point, Doe exited the car and ran away as police arrived.”
After the harrowing incident, franchisee workers made fun of Groves and fired her, she claims.
“In the days that followed, the agents of American Hospitality Corp. showed the video of Groves’ kidnapping and assault to store employees and others and laughed at Groves,” the lawsuit states. “Following the attack, American Hospitality Corp. terminated Groves’ employment.”
Groves sued American Hospitality and Doe in Davidson County, Tenn. court on Wednesday for assault, negligence, outrageous conduct and wrongful termination. She says the franchisee did not take “reasonable steps to protect its own employees.”
She claims she was fired because of her emotional distress and mental injury caused by the incident.
“Groves’ injury incurred while employed by American Hospitality Corp. was a substantial factor in American Hospitality Corp.’s motivation to terminate Groves’ employment, and in retaliation for the exercise of her rights,” the lawsuit states.
Groves seeks $2 million including punitive damages. She is represented by Mark Honeycutt II of Honeycutt, Doyle & Rich PLLC in Nashville.
American Hospitality did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
- Big Win for Big Oil|in California
- Agency Must Give More Info on Turtle Tracking