McDonalds former CEO is asking a court to dismiss the companys lawsuit against him, calling it meritless and misleading.
Chicago-based McDonalds sued Stephen Easterbrook last week, seeking to reclaim millions of dollars in compensation paid to him. McDonalds fired Easterbrook without cause last November after he admitted to exchanging videos and text messages in a consensual, non-physical relationship with an employee. A search of Easterbrooks cell phone confirmed that account.
But McDonalds said it conducted a second investigation last month after it received an anonymous tip that Easterbrook had a physical relationship with another employee. McDonalds said it has since found that Easterbrook had sexual relationships with three employees and destroyed evidence.
The company’s board says it would not have agreed to Easterbrook’s separation agreement which allowed him to keep more than $42 million in stock-based benefits if it had that information when he was fired.
In a response filed late Friday in Delaware Chancery Court, Easterbrook said McDonalds hired outside attorneys to investigate his conduct, including interviewing employees and reviewing electronic information, before it signed off on his separation agreement.
McDonalds is improperly attempting to get out of its bargain nine months after the fact and despite admitting it always possessed the information upon which is it now relying, Easterbrooks response reads.
Easterbrook also claims the case should be tried in Illinois, not Delaware.
McDonalds rejected Easterbrooks arguments Monday.
McDonalds stands by its complaint, both the factual assertions and the court in which it was filed, a spokesperson for the company said.
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