The Seattle Times, Monday, August 20, 1984


Lawyers rush in to compound the tragedy

Editor, The Times:

A small story from United Press International (The Times, Aug. 2) has forced me back on my soap box. A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed on the behalf of two children whose mother was killed in the McDonald’s massacre in San Diego. The lawsuit accuses McDonald’s, the franchisee, Robert Colvin, and the estate of the gunman of “failing to adequately warn customers of the risk and danger that existed in the high-crime area.”

My heart goes out to the two children, as did the collective hearts of the McDonald’s corporate leadership when they donated $1 million to help the survivors and the families of the victims. I regret the unfortunate loss of Mr. Colvin’s thriving business and the financial hardship being experienced by his former employees. I am appalled, however, at the callous exploitation of this tragedy by the unnamed attorney or attorneys who have initiated this lawsuit.

I lived in that neighborhood for three years, within walking distance of McDonald’s. It is no more “crime-ridden” than any other border area of the southern United States. It is utterly preposterous to charge either McDonald’s or Mr. Colvin with negligence of any kind. The lawyers involved deserve to be drummed out of the profession.

I trust the judge before whom this case will be presented will have the courage to throw it out. I really would like to see McDonald’s file a countersuit against the attorneys (not the children), charging malicious harassment. It is time for reasonable people in this nation to explain the facts of life to the troublemakers!

—R.G. Williscroft
341 112th Ave S.E.

Submariner, diver, scientist, author & adventurer. 22 mos underwater, a yr in the equatorial Pacific, 3 yrs in the Arctic, and a yr at the South Pole. BS Marine Physics & Meteorology, PhD in Engineering. Authors non-fiction, Cold War thrillers, and hard science fiction. Lives in Centennial, CO.

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