Wendy’s restaurants, a shopping center management firm and three juveniles were named in a lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of a teen who suffered brain injuries in an attack outside the chain’s West Hills eatery that was later posted on Snapchat.
Jordan Peisner, then 14, was treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for treatment of a skull fracture, a 14-millimeter blood clot on his brain, a concussion and a ruptured eardrum.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed on his behalf by his father, Edward Keith Peisner, and names Wendy’s parent company, RDR Foods Inc.; ICI Development Co. Inc.; and three minors — identified only by their first names — who allegedly provoked and/or carried out the attack.
Representatives for ICI and RDR declined to comment on the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages on allegations of civil conspiracy, battery, assault, negligence, negligent supervision, parental liability and premises liability.
The teen, a freshman at El Camino Real Charter High School, bought food at Wendy’s in the Platt Village shopping center after school on Dec. 2. When he went outside to talk with friends, a boy he did not know sucker-punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground, according to the lawsuit.
The attack was instigated by a female juvenile who promised cash and oral sex to the attacker if he carried out her wishes to strike Jordan — by surprise — in the back of the head, according to the lawsuit.
“In additional furtherance of their twisted plan,” the instigator of the attack gave the boy who carried it out a signal to proceed, the suit alleges.
The attacker then “rushed Jordan from behind, cocked his shoulder and arm, launched the weight of his entire body at Jordan and connected his clenched fist with Jordan’s skull above and behind his right ear,” the complaint says.
Another girl agreed to record the attack and distribute the video on Snapchat “so that the trio could achieve notoriety and social media popularity,” the suit alleges. She pushed past those trying to help Jordan after the attack so she could get a close-up shot of his bleeding head, according to the complaint.
All three juveniles are co-defendants with the corporate entities in the lawsuit, which are alleged to have tolerated the presence of “rowdy school children” for years at the shopping center. ICI manages and supervises Platt Village, the suit states.
The boy accused of striking Jordan, and the girl who allegedly instigated the attack, were both arrested — the boy on suspicion of assault and the girl on suspicion of conspiracy. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the girl was referred to the county’s Teen Court program and was ultimately found “not guilty.” The boy’s case was being handled in juvenile court, and it was unclear if the case had been resolved.
Edward Peisner, meanwhile, has been advocating for proposed legislation in Sacramento — a bill dubbed “Jordan’s Law” — that would impose additional penalties for crimes motivated by a desire for attention on social media.
— City News Service
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