Accent sued over Burger King kidnapping
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill.--Kimberly McGhee, a Franklin County woman who was kidnapped at gunpoint from a West Frankfort Burger King at which she worked, filed on November 10 a lawsuit against Accent Security Alarms, of Jackson, Mo., and HM Electronics, a manufacturer of security equipment that serves many fast-food restaurants. The Southern Illinoisan reported that the incident in question occurred Feb. 26, 2004, and resulted in McGhee having to make a daring escape from Jonathan Martin, currently serving a 60-year sentence.
The lawsuit alleges that Accent and HM Electronics should have warned Burger King employees that the surveillance videotapes were not secured and that there was a lack of security equipment that would have contacted law-enforcement sooner. Lawyer Raymond Bodiford, who represents McGhee, said when contacted by Security Systems News that "it's a violation of industry custom to leave the VCR in an unsecured location," and that the case was similar to one he handled in Florida in 2002 that involved Foreline Security. In that case, Foreline was held partially responsible for the paralysis of bank teller Marishia Scott after Scott's lawyers argued, in part, that the robber picked her bank branch because the VCR connected to the CCTV system was visible.
Accent had yet to be served as Security Systems News went to press and so was unprepared to comment.