Owners of Layton Subway sue city for defamation over allegations employee drugged officer’s drink

Posted at 9:37 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 23:38:20-04

LAYTON, Utah -- The owners of a Layton Subway that received international attention after an employee was accused of putting drugs in a Layton police officer's drink are suing for defamation.

Kristin Myers and Dallas Buttars are the franchise owners, and they're being represented by attorney Robert Sykes in the suit filed Tuesday.

"My life has been changed forever," Myers said. "It will never be the same."

The owners say the ordeal has cost them $17,000 in business.

"I've been told by several people that the only way we’re ever going to recover is we’re going to have to move our location because it's always going to be known as the store that drugged the cop," Myers said.

The officer, who hasn't been publicly identified, bought a drink at the Subway drive-thru last August and began to feel sick. He told his fellow officers and Layton Police responded.

They brought in their K9s to search the store and the car of the employee who served the drink, but they found nothing. Surveillance video showed no wrongdoing, and urine tests of the officer that night came back negative for drugs.

"They knew they hadn’t found a single trace of drugs or illegal substances or any admissions," Sykes said of the case. "They had denials from everybody. They had zero evidence. Zero evidence."

Sykes says the police relied on an ion scanner test, which indicated traces of meth and THC, but it's a test known for false positives and it is inadmissible in court. With that test in hand, Layton Police arrested the employee and started doing interviews with the media.

"It's hard to get your reputation back once its been stolen from you," Sykes said of the damage done by the allegations.

Layton City Attorney, Gary Crane, says that he stands by the officers and how they handled what transpired afterwards. He says he finds the lawsuit surprising because the officers have a cordial relationship with the business.

However, Sykes says when he told Layton about this pending lawsuit, their response was inadequate.

"Let's make this a win-win situation: We’ll agree to let them cater our Christmas party and some of our parties and bring their sandwiches," Sykes said of the city's response.

Buttars has lived in Layton for 29 years, but he says he doesn't feel safe there anymore, knowing he has to rely on the Layton Police Department to protect him.

"I now fear that I have to live with the fact that the Layton Police Department and Layton City officials feel that I did them wrong. I will never ever be able to call on them if I needed help" Buttars said.

The 18-year-old employee who was arrested, was never charged. He's not part of this lawsuit and all Sykes would say about that is that the matter was honorably resolved for him.