This CNN article (follow the link below) wraps up the issue. I have to wonder whether the same outcome might have been achieved without the damage done. In reading the plaintiff's comments, she appears to be a good woman who wanted a better environment for her colleagues. I'll take her at her word that she attempted to bring issues to her employers' attention. And I'll take Ms. Deen's word that she didn't know, does now, will review and improve her operations.
It just seems like we could have gotten here without pummeling a reputation. Media, money, rush to judgment, and reactive public opinion all seem to be bigger contributors to the dismantling of the Paula Deen brand than the principals and issues in the lawsuit.