Lawsuit Claims Negligence in Applebee's Customer Assault to Which Ramsey Woman Pleaded Guilty

The lawsuit was filed in response to an assault on Asma Jama Photo: KSTP/ File
The lawsuit was filed in response to an assault on Asma Jama

June 19, 2017 12:30 PM

A lawsuit filed last week in Hennepin County claims negligence on the part of a Coon Rapids Applebee's after a Ramsey woman pleaded guilty to assaulting another woman in 2015.

The incident happened Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, at the Applebee's on 129th Avenue Northwest in Coon Rapids.


Forty-four-year-old Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in connection with the incident.

RELATED: Ramsey Woman Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Applebee's Customer for Not Speaking English

Burchard-Risch was sitting with her husband at a table separated by a short partition wall from another table at which another woman, identified as Asma Jama, was sitting with two other women and four children.

According to the lawsuit, the adults at Jama's table were speaking in Swahili so that their children wouldn't understand the adult conversation they were having.

One of the women at Jama's table noticed Burchard-Risch was "looking at them angrily," the lawsuit claims, and that Burchard-Risch, "who was obviously intoxicated, grew increasingly angry and aggressive as the evening progressed."

The lawsuit claims Burchard-Risch told those gathered at Jama's table they should "'speak English, this is America' and 'go back to your country.'"

The lawsuit claims one of the women at Jama's table attempted to call managers over to the two tables to address the situation, but they were "slow to respond," and they reprimanded the woman at Jama's table and "told her to be quiet because 'this is a family restaurant.'"

Afterward, the lawsuit claims the managers went over to Burchard-Risch's table to speak with her.

In an earlier report, the managers said they tried to get Burchard-Risch to leave the restaurant, but she refused.

It was at this point, the lawsuit as well as a criminal complaint states, that Burchard-Risch smashed her beer mug across Jama's face.

The lawsuit claims Applebee's continued to serve alcohol to Burchard-Risch, despite her alleged intoxication, "thus making an illegal sale." As a result, the lawsuit claims management at the Applebee's location was negligent.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $50,000 in damages from Applebee's.


Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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