Jury Awards $350,000 to Victim of Lord & Taylor Security Guards; Verdict Follows Confidential Settlement for Family of Black Man Killed by Lord & Taylor Security Guards in 2000.
This morning a Bronx New York jury unanimously awarded an African American woman $350,000.00 against Lord & Taylor, Inc. one of the d/b/a's of department store giant, May Department Stores Company, Inc. (Stock Symbol "MAY").
The jury unanimously found that Lord & Taylor's security guards used excessive force against the plaintiff when it suspected her or her sister of shoplifting. The jury's award follows a confidential settlement by the company when its Security Guards caused another African American to die in 2000 in Detroit after the store accused the dead man's 11 year old daughter of shoplifting.
May Department Stores Company, Inc. d/b/a Lord & Taylor has been sued for assaults and other misconduct. In Ayres v. May Department Stores Company, Inc., d/b/a Lord & Taylor, Index No. 118477/00, the suit claims the store assaulted a woman, forced her to submit to a body search and locked her in a cage. In Adler v. May Department Stores Company & Lord & Taylor, Index No. 106098/01, the store allegedly forced another woman into cell and subjected her to racial abuse. There have been cases filed by the law firms of: Issacs & Macaneney, LLP, NYC; Law Offices of Steven Hoffner, NYC; Bader & Yakaitis, NYC; Loft & Zarkin, NYC; Rappaport, Glass, Green & Levine, Melville, NY, and; Abbott, Bushlow & Pond, Ridgewood, NY; that may allege similar misconduct by Lord & Taylor security guards.
The McCroskey case was heard before the Honorable Betty Owen Stinson. Justice Stinson declined to permit any racial issues to be presented to the jury.
If permitted to present all of the issues to the mostly African American jury, the plaintiff would have attempted to show that Lord & Taylor trained its security staff to watch its Black customers for shoplifting. According to an article published in the Detroit Free Press in 2000, Lord & Taylor used Black actors to show its trainees what shoplifters look like and what shoplifters do.
Lord & Taylor claimed that all of the conduct it alleged warranted its use of force against the plaintiff was captured on videotape. Lord & Taylor's former employees also testified that the parking lot where the plaintiff was attacked was also videotaped.
Lord & Taylor failed to disclose the videotapes despite being ordered to do so by two different Supreme Court Justices. At trial, Lord & Taylor claimed that the videotapes had been lost.
The jury was directed that it could assume that the videotapes would have shown what the plaintiff stated: she did not shoplift anything and she was needlessly and viciously beaten.
After deliberating for only two hours, Ms. McCroskey was awarded $343,500 for pain and suffering and $6,500.00 to pay for the surgery she underwent after the attack.
Even though she was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars, Ms. McCroskey still feels wronged by the racial profiling she was subjected to. She thinks blacks should shop elsewhere.
The plaintiff was represented by Trial Lawyer Cory Rosenbaum of New York City. The case was entitled McCroskey Fleming v. Lord & Taylor and Lydia Rivera, Index No. 22723/99.
CONTACT: Cory Rosenbaum, +1-917-447-8339 (weekend & evenings), or +1-212-732-7922