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Milwaukee Seo Company is suing for $1 billion in damages after its employees and former employees filed claims under the federal False Claims Act

A $1.6 billion wrongful death lawsuit against Milwaukee Seoan, the company that owns and operates the former McDonald’s franchise in downtown Minneapolis, has been filed in federal court.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, alleges that the franchise operator violated federal law in 2016 by failing to prevent and investigate employee injuries to employees in the franchisee’s Minneapolis restaurant.

The suit, filed in the Southern District of Minnesota, names the franchise, Milwaukee Seolans owners, the Minneapolis city council and the former employees who died in the disaster.

The allegations were not made public in a filing Monday.

Milwaukee Seonans said it would vigorously defend itself against the claims.

“The allegations in the lawsuit are completely without merit and should be dismissed,” said the company.