SIDNEY â€” A Sidney police officer and his family have won $40,000 from a restaurant that had served them food tainted by an employeeâ€™s spit and urine.
In the lawsuit filed last year in Cheyenne County District Court, officer Keith Andrew and his wife said a Taco Bell employee urinated and spit in food served to them and their children in October 2005.
The lawsuit named North Platte-based Mid Plains Food and Lodging, owner of the KFC/Taco Bell.
A call to the company seeking comment on Monday was not immediately returned.
In the lawsuit, the couple said their two sons, 4 and 7 at the time, took sick after they ate the food. The 4-year-old came â€œviolently ill,â€ the lawsuit said, with gastroenteritis and dehydration. He vomited for hours and was forced to spend time in a hospital.
Managers of the restaurant were aware of the contamination at the time the Andrew family was eating but didnâ€™t inform the family, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also suggested the family was the victim of a scheme that targeted police officers.
â€œEmployees maintained â€™special servingsâ€™ of food reserved for … officers,â€ the lawsuit said. â€œThe â€™special servingsâ€™ had been urinated in or spit in by KFC/Taco Bell employees. In fact, defendantâ€™s employees maintained a particular serving pan for use in creating â€™special servingsâ€™ of food plus employee urine.â€
An attorney for the family, Andy Snyder of Scottsbluff, said the verdict did not specify exactly how the jury believed the restaurant was negligent.
Management knew of rumors that food was being tainted and heard employees joke about it but took no disciplinary action, Snyder said Monday.
He also said the restaurant did a poor job of vetting its employees.
â€œIâ€™d advise them to get a better class of employees,â€ Snyder said.