The company’s board ousted Easterbrook in November and awarded him severance pay estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars after he admitted an affair with an employee but refused further sex. The separation agreement also included some benefits for McDonald’s, such as non-compete and non-separation clauses, which Easterbrook’s lawyer pointed out in his request to dismiss the case.
“Easterbrook’s suggestion that, despite his lies, McDonald’s got a pretty good deal by getting rid of him has no legal basis,” McDonald’s replied on the record.
In arguing for the dismissal of the case, Easterbrook claimed McDonald’s had the “new” information about his alleged relationships all the time. Easterbrook reportedly deleted emails with evidence of these relationships on his phone, but they were still living on the company’s servers.
McDonald’s said in its Monday court filing that Easterbrook’s argument boiled down to “that he cannot be held responsible because, in law, he did not cover his misconduct well enough.”
Easterbrook’s attorney did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.
“When McDonald’s investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied. He violated company policies, disrespected its values and abused the trust of his colleagues, the board of directors, our franchisees and our shareholders, ”McDonald’s said in a statement to CNBC. “His argument that he should not be held responsible for wrongdoing, even repeated, is morally bankrupt and fails under the law. “