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Texas Appellate Court ruling sends Steak ‘n Shake sexual assault lawsuit to jury trial

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DALLAS — A lawsuit filed nine years ago on behalf of a former Steak ‘n Shake (NYSE: BH) employee, who sued the restaurant chain over claims that she was sexually assaulted by a manager, is finally headed to trial.

“Steak ‘n Shake has done everything possible to avoid accountability,” said trial lawyer Matthew McCarley, a partner at Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm. “Nine years is too long to wait for justice in a case like this, and we’re looking forward to finally having the chance for a jury to consider these very serious claims.”

According to the lawsuit, a female employee identified as B.C. sued the San Antonio-based casual restaurant chain for sexual assault after her manager at a Frisco, Texas, Steak ‘n Shake allegedly assaulted her during a late-night shift in 2011. At issue in the most recent appeal was whether the restaurant can be held liable for the manager’s actions.

“The third time was a charm at the Fifth Court,” writes Law360. “This third ruling overturned the restaurant’s victory and the nine-year-old case will return to the trial court where it can proceed to a trial.”

The case is B.C. v. Steak ‘n Shake Operations Inc., case number 05-14-00649-cv, in the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas. In addition to Mr. McCarley and the Fears Nachawati Law Firm, Dallas-based attorney Matthew J. Kita handled appellate arguments.

“We had to go to the Supreme Court twice, and the last time, we went and got in there on a motion for rehearing—those aren’t granted very often,” Mr. McCarley told Texas Lawyer. “All I can say is the outcome speaks for itself. We were successful and got the outcome we wanted. I think it was good, good work.”


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