Trials & Litigation
Waffle House CEO sues 3 lawyers for alleged extortion during settlement effort
Posted Jun 11, 2014 10:50 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
The CEO of Waffle House has filed a civil racketeering conspiracy lawsuit against three attorneys, accusing them of engaging in extortion during settlement negotiations in a sexual harassment matter being pursued by a former employee.
CEO Joe Rogers Jr. alleges in the Cobb County, Georgia, suit that attorneys John Butters, David Cohen and Hylton Dupree encouraged his former housekeeper and personal assistant, Mye Brindle, to obtain evidence illegally and file false police reports, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains. He admits infrequent sexual episodes with Brindle, who worked for him for about nine years, but denies any sexual harassment.
“As part of their scheme, defendants decided that a video clearly depicting the sexual encounters would enable them to force Rogers to pay exorbitant sums under the threat that they would disclose publicly the sexual encounters which had occurred between Brindle and Rogers,” the suit states. It argues that Rogers is entitled to damages because the defendants invaded his privacy by publicizing the relationship with Brindle.
Dupree called the allegations "baseless" and "an act of desperation” and said the defendants "will respond in court at the appropriate time.”
A Courthouse News article provides additional details about the suit, which also asserts claims for alleged aiding and abetting breach of confidential relationship and intentional infliction of emotional distress.