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Papa John’s International, Inc. v. McCoy

Kentucky Supreme Court
244 S.W.3d 44 (2008)


Gary McCoy (plaintiff) sued Papa John’s International, Inc. (Papa John’s) and RWT, Inc. (RWT) (defendants) for malicious prosecution and defamation. RWT was a franchisee of Papa John’s doing business under the name Papa John’s Pizza. McCoy ordered pizza, and RWT driver Wendell Burke delivered them. McCoy claimed that Burke would not leave. Burke alleged that McCoy asked him to stay and began discussing thoughts of suicide and homicide while drinking alcohol. Burke claimed McCoy picked up a rifle when Burke tried to leave. When Burke returned to Papa John’s about two hours later, a supervisor called police about McCoy’s behavior over Burke’s objections. McCoy was arrested for unlawful imprisonment, and the story was published in the newspaper. McCoy’s motion to dismiss was granted, and the charges were dropped with prejudice. McCoy sued RWT and Papa Johns. The circuit court entered an order of summary judgment for RWT and Papa Johns. The Court of Appeals reversed on the ground that summary judgment was inappropriate because there were genuine issues of material fact. The defendants appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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