Suit: Guard used too much force apprehending shoplifter

Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 8, 2008, 11:00am

A woman stopped for shoplifting at a local department store is blaming the security guard for being too forceful during her apprehension.

According to the complaint, Holli Johnson of Tomball in Harris County was at the Macy's store at Parkdale Mall when she was apprehended on suspicion of theft as she exited the store on April 14.

"The security guard employed by defendant employed excessive and unreasonable force by taking Ms. Johnson to the ground causing severe injuries to Ms. Johnson's head requiring staples and to other areas of her body," the original complaint states.

Johnson filed a personal injury lawsuit against Macy's on Sept. 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

Macy's is responsible for the incident, the suit alleges, because of its failure to exercise reasonable care in hiring, training and supervising the security guard in question and is responsible through the theory of respondeat superior for its security guard's negligence actions and excessive use of force.

The plaintiff claims to have incurred hospital and medical expenses and experienced physical pain, suffering and mental anguish in the past and for an undetermined length of time in the future and probably for the rest of her life.

James Payne of Provost Umphrey is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield of the 136th District Court.

Case No. D182-350

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