Visitor Question

Assaulted in grocery store…

Submitted By: Kim (Oregon)

I was recently assaulted while shopping at my local chain grocer in a mini mall type environment. The attackers were not store employers, just random strangers. However, none of the staff in the store stepped in to assist, even after I had begun being assaulted.

On top of it all, the person in charge that evening trespassed me from the store for disturbing his customers. What do I do? An attorney I spoke with said that the store may have no other obligation than to call 911, but I can’t find any information about that. Does the store have any liability? What can I do about this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kim,

The attorney you consulted with was correct. The mall, the store, and the employees had no legal duty to intervene in an assault. To do so might have resulted in liability for them, if (by mistake) one of the employees injured you while attempting to assist.

By “trespassing” we understand you to mean the mall or store security instructed you to leave the premises, and that if you returned, the police would be called and you would be charged with trespassing.

From the facts you present, there is no evidence the mall, the store, or the employees engaged in any actions or omissions which might have displayed actionable negligence.

You would be best-served by focusing your attention on the thugs who assaulted you. Contact the local police department and file a criminal complaint against the thugs. If you don’t know them by name, the police can access the mall’s video surveillance cameras in an effort to identify the thugs.

Once identified, the thugs can be arrested and charged with the criminal offense of assault.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 23, 2016

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One thought on “Assaulted in grocery store…

  1. I was grabbed by an employee and yanked while eating out front of a Ralph’s fresh fare for putting pistachio shells on the table. He told me “put the shells down now and leave” when I went to put my last shell down I was grabbed and yanked away from the table by an employee.

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