Hollywood attorney recovers settlement for homeless man beaten at market

Homeless man badly beaten by supermarket employees receives settlement

A 46-year-old homeless man from Hollywood, Florida just wanted food. Instead, he was beaten and bloodied by employees of one of South Florida’s largest supermarkets after he was suspected of theft. Following this horrible event, he contacted Hollywood accident attorneys Dell & Schaefer to discuss if he had a personal injury claim against the store.

The facts of this case are sad. Hungry, the man walked into the supermarket and began to shop for groceries. He placed several food items into his shopping cart and placed several small food items into his backpack. He approached the checkout counter with intentions of purchasing the food items but quickly came to the realization that he simply did not have enough money to purchase the items. He left his shopping cart near the checkout counter and proceeded to exit the store.

Grocery store fails to protect customer resulting in injury

Our client began to exit the supermarket when several employees yelled for him to stop and began chasing him. He tried to run away from the men through the parking lot but approximately five to six supermarket employees eventually caught up to him 200 yards from the supermarket entrance. The employees pushed our client to the ground and began to punch and kick him. They spent approximately five minutes beating our client to a pulp. Several of the employees stayed on the scene and held our client down until the police arrived. The other employees left the scene of the beating and went back to the supermarket presumably to continue working.

Police arrest man for theft

When the police arrived, they found our client beaten and bloodied, being held down by supermarket employees. They immediately ordered the supermarket employees to get off of our client and called him an ambulance. Emergency medical technicians responded and rushed our client to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured wrist and elbow contusion. He was also noted to have been beaten all throughout his body and was visibly scraped and bruised. Though it appeared to the police and hospital staff that excessive forced was used to subdue our client, he was later arrested for theft and brought to jail.

Homeless man released from jail with a broken wrist

Our client was later released from jail by a magistrate Judge who commented on the usage of excessive force against a presumed thief. It was noted that while theft is certainly illegal, excessive force should not be used to defend property. The proper course of action for the supermarket employees would have been to notify the police of the theft and allow them to properly respond to the incident.

Attorneys Dell and Schaefer make negligence claim against supermarket

Though theft is an illegal act and it is obvious that our client should not have been attempting to steal items from a supermarket, it is reprehensible that employees of a business would feel the need to inflict severe physical harm on a person who is trying to take some food to eat. It is negligent for employees of a business to protect property by using severe physical force. They should never have injured our client in any way. They certainly should not have attacked our client in the manner that they did and in no way whatsoever should our client have been left with such severe injuries as the result of an attempted petty theft.

Supermarket denies negligence claim

Initially, the risk management company for the supermarket denied liability, alleging that their employees had not harmed our client in any way. The police report, however, described a situation where our client appeared to have been badly beaten and bloodied. The only witnesses who remained on the scene were employees of the supermarket and those employees described chasing our client through the parking lot. The employees claimed that they did not use force and that they only held our client down until police arrived. They could not explain how our client became so bruised and bloodied. They also could not explain his fractured wrist. It became obvious that the supermarket employees were not telling the truth. Risk management for the supermarket began to realize that they had a problem.

Attorneys Dell and Schaefer settle the case

Our attorneys were able to show that employees for the supermarket were negligent in their handling of our client. We were able to show that they used excessive force against our client and injured him badly, simply because he was suspected of theft of some food items. Our attorneys prepared for a negligence lawsuit where we would be alleging negligent security, negligent supervision and negligent hiring of these employees. We would also be alleging civil battery for the injuries done to our client. The supermarket decided to settle as opposed to being exposed at trial. Our attorneys were able to achieve a settlement that not only compensated our client for his medical bills but also compensated him for his pain and suffering.

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