Hansen v. Tex. Roadhouse, Inc. 345 Wis. 2d 669, 827 N.W.2d 99 (Wis. Ct. App. 2012)

After a Texas Roadhouse employee intentionally tampered with a steak that was subsequently taken home by a customer, the customer sued the restaurant for negligent hiring and supervision, vicarious liability, and breach of implied warranty. Although the jury found the restaurant liable only for the implied warranty claim, it awarded the customer punitive damages of $100,000 and additional compensatory damages for emotional distress. At the Court of Appeals, Quarles & Brady won both an affirmance of the trial court’s determination in the restaurant’s favor on the negligent hiring and supervision and vicarious liability claims (defeating the customer’s cross-appeal) and a reversal of the punitive and compensatory damage awards, neither of which were legally recoverable given the jury’s other findings. Thus, Quarles & Brady protected the restaurant from excessive liability in connection with the bad faith actions of a rogue employee.

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