Two plaintiff's experts testify in McDonald's hoax trial - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Two plaintiff's experts testify in McDonald's hoax trial

Barry Collins, social psychologist Barry Collins, social psychologist

By Maira Ansari

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -- A psychologist took the stand Friday in the McDonald's strip search trial and says the fast food giant could have prevented the hoax by training employees. A Bullitt County woman is suing McDonald's after she was searched and sexually assaulted at a restaurant in 2004. WAVE 3's Maira Ansari is following the case.

In a Bullitt County courtroom Friday, jurors heard depositions and testimony from three people. First, the McDonald's U.S. security director, later a social psychologist, then a criminal justice specialist. All were witnesses called by Louise Ogborn's attorney, Ann Oldfather.

Oldfather mapped out various where hoax calls were made around the country that lead to strip searches.

"They tend to occur in rural settings. they tend to occur on evening shifts when the store manager is unlikely to be present," said Barry Collins, a social psychologist.

Collins interviewed Ogborn about the April 9, 2004 incident. He said that many acts that people perform are in response to obedience authority.

"When asked 'What were you thinking?' or 'What does he do then?' or 'What did he say then?' She said that she didn't remember. She said her mind was a blank. She said I wasn't there. And this is actually a fairly common occurrence in what is sometimes called the captivity victimization -- the captivity abuse," Collins said.

But under cross-examination, McDonald's lead counsel Pat Patterson revisited the fast food giant zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.

Patterson asked Collins, "Would you not consider what happened in this case to be sexual harassment?" After a pause, Collins answered, "Yes, that falls into the category of sexual harassment."

Jurors also heard testimony from Daniel Kennedy, a criminal justice expert who deals with the timing of events.

"... pretty clear to the security folks that they were subject to future victimization and I think they knew that," Kennedy testified.

Jurors have been sent home for the weekend. They will return to court Monday morning to hear more testimony. The trial is expected to last another three weeks.

Online Reporter:  Maira Ansari

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway