Cosmetic girl injured while apprehending shoplifter, sues Macy's

By David Yates | Feb 4, 2008

Placed on light duty, a Macy's employee balked when her manager told her to apprehend a suspected shoplifter. Claiming Macy's negligently required her to do work that violated medical limitations, Wendy Graham sued the well known retailer.

Graham filed suit against Macy's Retail Holdings Inc. and Macy's manager Michelle Blackwell in the Jefferson County District Court on Jan. 30.

After being placed on restricted duty, Graham notified her manager Blackwell and continued to work on light-duty status in the cosmetic department. The suit does not give reasons for Graham's restricted-duty status.

"Graham received a telephone call from Blackwell, who … ordered her to apprehend a suspected shoplifter, despite the actual knowledge that she was on light duty," the suit said, adding that Blackwell "ordered" Graham not to comply with her medical restrictions by saying, "You are the manager on duty and I need you to apprehend the suspected shoplifter at the south entrance."

In her suit, Graham goes on to allege that Macy's and its manager were negligent "in creating an unsafe work environment and imposing a work environment on the Plaintiff which violated medical restrictions and limitations, which was a proximate cause of Plaintiff's injuries."

The suit does not specify if Graham was injured while in pursuit of the alleged shoplifter. The suit only says the "Defendants' negligence caused (her) to injure her spine."

However, the suit does list the following acts of negligence allegedly committed by Macy's:

  • Failing to warn and/or adequately warn;
  • Failing to instruct and/or adequately instruct;
  • Failing to perform testing and/or adequately perform testing;
  • Failing to take preventative action;
  • Failing to train and/or adequately train employees under Defendants' supervision and control;
  • Failing to adhere to and follow company policies, procedures and recommendations;
  • Failing to comply with medical limitations and restrictions imposed by Plaintiff's physician;
  • And requiring Plaintiff to perform work which violated medical restrictions and limitations, including those which violated the terms of the light duty work Plaintiff was capable of performing.

    Graham is suing for actual and exemplary damages, plus all court costs.

    She is requesting a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Gilbert Adams, III of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams.

    Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

    Case No. B181-138

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