Impossible Foods, the much-hyped Redwood City startup whose flagship product has popped up on the menus of thousands of restaurants across America, has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that one of its employees drunkenly harassed a female colleague during a company party at a brew pub, and that another intoxicated employee sucker-punched a good Samaritan who came to the woman’s defense while visiting the pub for a business meeting.

The firm, founded by a doctor in 2011 and named one of Time Magazine’s “50 Genius Companies of 2018,” produces “meat” made from biochemically juiced plants. Its “Impossible Burger,” reported to “bleed” just like a beef patty, is available at a number of Bay Area restaurants, and in April burger giant White Castle began offering an “Impossible Slider.”

On Sept. 5, one of Impossible Burger’s employees “brutally battered” a man and struck the man’s business associate outside a company party at Steelhead Brewing Company in Burlingame, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in San Mateo County Superior Court.

The alleged violence arose from a purported incident involving two Impossible Foods employees inside the pub during the party, which featured unlimited drinks from a hosted bar, according to the suit.

The plaintiff, Paul Leininger, said in the suit that he came to the pub for a business meeting with another man. When he arrived, he learned the other man had witnessed an intoxicated Impossible Foods employee, Jeremy Gabus, harassing a female colleague, the suit alleged. The man told Leininger that the “visibly upset” woman said she didn’t want to leave the pub before Gabus did, out of fear he’d harass her further on the way to her car, the suit claimed.

Leininger and the man he’d come to meet were escorting the woman to her vehicle when they came near Gabus, who was in close proximity to another allegedly drunk Impossible Foods employee, Chris Noble, the suit alleged. As the two men and the woman walked past Gabus and Noble, Gabus called Leininger an “a–hole,” and Gabus and Noble followed the three out of the establishment, the suit claimed.

The woman was about to drive out of the parking lot and Leininger leaned in to speak with her through her car window, according to the suit. When he finished talking to her and stood up, he was “blindsided” by Noble with a punch to the face that dislodged his glasses, the suit claimed. Noble then hit Leininger “with a second sucker punch as he was sitting on the concrete driveway,” the suit alleged.

The man Leininger had come to meet pulled Noble off and Noble struck him in the face, before the man pushed him to the ground, the suit claimed. Leininger then pulled Noble’s coat over his head to immobilize him while he called police.

Leininger claims he was seriously injured in the incident.

Burlingame Police confirmed that they responded to a report of a fight at the pub that night around 9 p.m. No arrests were made, and the police report was forwarded to the district attorney’s office, said Sgt. David Perna. The DA’s office was not immediately available to say whether it was taking any action on the report.

This news organization was unable to reach Noble or Gabus. Impossible Foods declined to say whether the two men still worked there, and declined to make them available for comment. The company would not discuss the lawsuit’s claims.

“As a matter of policy, Impossible Foods never comments on personnel concerns, including alleged incidents that happen outside of work property and work hours,” Impossible Foods said via email.

Leininger is suing Noble as well as Impossible Foods. Leininger claims the company should have known that giving Noble unlimited access to alcohol “was likely to result in his intoxication and aggressive behavior, including his propensity to attack others when intoxicated.”

The firm should have either told Noble he could only come to the party if he didn’t drink alcohol, or limited all employees’ alcohol intake to prevent Noble or any other employee from “unleashing aggressive tendencies,” the lawsuit said.

Leininger is seeking compensation for medical expenses and unspecified damages that would “make an example” of Noble.