$20.5M settlement has restaurant workers asking: Serve food or s - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

$20.5M settlement has restaurant workers asking: Serve food or settle disputes?


Serve food or break up violent disputes? That's what restaurants servers may be asking themselves.

The question comes after the Missouri appeals court awarded Alu Aziz an $20.5 million settlement for a brawl in a St. Louis fast food restaurant. The brawl left Aziz with severe brain damage.

He claimed the restaurant management didn't prevent the fight or train their employees to handle disputes between customers.

Val Snell, Berghoff Café assistant manager, said restaurants should not be held accountable for fights that may happen.

“It’s a little crazy in my opinion, it’s not their job to stop fights," Snell said. "You’re not trained to do that and a fight shouldn’t break out in a restaurant, how crazy is that.”

Stephanie Hensy is a server and said it’s not their job to stop fights, just because it’s in their building.

“I don’t think someone should come into your place of business and bring on a fight themselves," Hensy said. "Just because you didn’t stop it I don’t think we should be responsible for someone else’s actions.”

Many believe training may help servers, Hensy disagrees.

She said fight prevention training shouldn’t be something required.

“I don’t think it should be necessary in a restaurant setting, maybe in a bar type setting where alcohol is involved, that might be a more appropriate place to have something like that," she said.

But if a fight was to happen, she would hope others would help.

“I would do my best to try to break it up, if I could," Hensy said. "If not, I would get one of the coworkers or even one of the customers around here, we pretty much know everyone around here so they’ll help break it up if something did happen.”

Snell said the $20.5 million settlement is too much and gives a bad impression to future customers of restaurants.

“It’s really uncalled for, just someone trying to make some money," Snell said.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this story.

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