LAWSUIT: Popeyes worker says he was attacked after reporting colleague drinking on the job

Posted at 7:07 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 19:07:51-04

Thurman Goodman has tried to do the right thing in all aspects of his life. That includes going to work and providing for his family. But the 50-year-old is now a changed man.

"Some nights I can't sleep. I am up pacing the floor. It is awful," said Goodman.   

He said he is nervous and anxious after he tried to talk to a colleague back in March of last year.

"I saw him drinking. It was just wrong. You do not drink on the job when you are working with hot grease it doesn't mix," said Goodman.

Thurman was the head cook at a Riverview Popeyes. He said he tried to reason with his co-worker about the behavior. But his colleague, a convicted felon who was working while wearing an ankle monitor, refused to listen.

"So I told management and see where it led me to," said Goodman.

He said a manager told him not to worry about it. But he still felt nervous. So he called his girlfriend and asked her to pick him up at the convenience store next door. But, before she got there there was confrontation. Video showed several men going after Goodman. 

"They were stomping me. They were kicking me. They were hitting me with cases of water," said Goodman.

An off-duty FWC officer stopped the attack but not before Goodman suffered two herniated discs and passed out.

He hasn't been able to work since the assault last year and said Popeye's hasn't done a thing to help. So Goodman went to attorney Shaina Thorpe who filed a lawsuit on his behalf. 

"This may have happened off premise but every thing that happened was a result of what happened on duty at the Popeyes," said Thorpe.

Thorpe also said Popeyes refuses to pay any workman's comp.

We reached out to the attorney representing the Popeyes, Florida POP LL, but have not received a response.

"What we do know is that management failed to protect anybody from him and in fact encouraged the attack," said Thorpe.

Goodman was able to identify two of his attackers at the time, one being the colleague he reported. Deputies arrested that man for violating parole.

Goodman had not been able to watch the video until now and thinks he recognizes a third attacker.

"I don' t want this ever to happen again to anybody," said Goodman.

But he hopes what happened to him does not deter others from coming forward. Thorpe also hopes to send a strong message. 

"I believe Popeye's has a duty to take responsibility for it's action. Take responsibility for the serious serious injuries Mr.Goodman has suffered and make sure he gets the treatment he needs and that he is compensated for the emotional scarring," said Thorpe.