FIRED McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook has blasted back at the burger giant – calling their lawsuit against him “meritless and misleading”.
A lawyer for the Watford-born Brit has filed a response to the fast food chain in court, after they sued him in an attempt to win back his £30million severance package.
Easterbrook stepped down as McDonald's CEO in November 2019 after admitting to a consensual relationship with an employee, which is against company policy.
McDonald’s has accused Easterbrook, 53, of hiding sexual relationships with three co-workers and deleting work emails containing “dozens” of naked pictures of women.
But his lawyer Daniel Herr, in court papers filed in Delaware on Friday, said: “McDonald’s Corporation filed a meritless – and misleading – lawsuit in the wrong forum.”
McDonald’s was “improperly” seeking to grab back Easterbrook’s compensation, Mr Herr claimed, and the lawsuit should be dismissed.
He said the firm had “omitted material documents” and was “shirking its responsibilities” by citing information in its lawsuit that it already had when it agreed Easterbrook’s exit package.
McDonald’s admitted in its court filing that it had not initially searched its servers for the emails Easterbrook had deleted, before firing him last year.
Mr Herr accused the Golden Arches of waging a PR campaign against Easterbrook, saying: “For McDonald’s however, this litigation is not about the merits.”
This was evidenced by McDonald’s “leaking the lawsuit to the press” and knowing Easterbrook was “essentially unable to make any public comment” due to his contract, court papers said.
Easterbrook was alleged to have awarded one of his co-workers hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of shares “while engaged in an improper sexual relationship with her”.
But Mr Herr said the award had been “reviewed and approved” by the McDonald’s own board due to the employee’s performance.
The lawyer said that McDonald’s – described as a “multi-billion-dollar entity” – was attempting to use “creative pleadings to shirk its bargain and reverse a transaction it entered into”.
He added: “McDonald’s is improperly attempting to get out of its bargain nine months after the fact and despite admitting it always possessed the information upon which it is now relying.”
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