Disabled woman seeks 10 percent of HEB assets for injury at Beaumont store

Kelly Holleran Jan. 7, 2009, 8:12am

A disabled woman who claims she was body slammed by security at a local H.E.B. store has filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking 10 percent of the company's assets.

Jefferson County resident Jessica Barbary claims she was shopping at the Beaumont store on 11th Street in December 2006 when she was approached by a store manager named Joey J. Haynes and an unnamed security guard. According to Barbary, the manager and guard accused her of stealing from the store.

"Defendant Haynes and John Doe, acting at Haynes's direction, intentionally and knowingly made contact with the body of Jessica Barbary by grabbing her and throwing her body to the ground with great force," the suit states.

The complaint states that Barbary was disabled at the time of the incident and is still disabled as that term is defined by Section 22.04(b)(3) of the Texas Penal Code.

Barbary's suit, filed Dec. 24, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court, names H.E. Butt Grocery Co., U.S. Security Associates Inc., Joey Haynes and John Doe as defendants.

Because of the incident, Barbary claims she received bodily injury, suffered physical pain and mental anguish and was embarrassed, humiliated, afraid, worried and suffered from disturbed sleep.

Because of her disability, Barbary was susceptible to emotional distress, which was severe after the incident, according to the complaint.

The suit states that the plaintiff is seeking exemplary damages and "would pray for 10 percent of the employing corporations' assets."

H.E. Butt Grocery Company is liable for Haynes's actions since the company negligently hired, trained and supervised him, the suit states.

Barbary claims the security guard is liable because he did not protect her from bodily harm.

U.S. Security Associates Inc. is liable for the security guard's actions because the company negligently hired, trained and supervised him, according to the complaint.

"On the occasion in question, Defendants Joey Haynes and John Doe, acting at his direction, acted with malice and/or gross negligence toward Plaintiff who is a disabled individual," the suit states.

Craig J. Schexnaeder of Beaumont is representing Barbary.

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

Case No. D182-945

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