What Happens If A Security Guard Assaults A Publix Customer Because of a Mask?

Our community has suffered through the COVID Pandemic for months. In addition to various rules and regulations, many companies have also enacted masking rules for customers. But the question is just how far can a corporation go in the enforcement of masking rules?

Consider if a customer entered a Publix to purchase coffee. She is asked by a Publix employee to adjust her mask which had slipped below her nose. She adjusts the mask as requested. Subsequently, another Publix employee directs a security guard to go to that same customer. As the Publix security guard approaches the customer at the check-out, the customer reaches for a bag and her mask slipped below her nose again. The security guard tells the customer to fix her mask. The customer fixes it and says to the security guard “Will you get away from me now?”. The guard responds “I will drag you out of here”. Then the guard pulls and fires a Taser into the customer’s back and injuring her.

What should the customer do? Even if another Publix employee tries to usher the injured customer out, she should stand her ground and demand to make a report with the manager. Thereafter, the injured customer should call the Miami personal injury lawyers at Wolfson & Leon so a lawsuit can be filed on her behalf in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Publix Must Preserve Video Evidence

Before filing litigation, Wolfson & Leon will send a letter of representation which includes a request for the preservation of evidence. Specifically, upon receipt of the notice, Publix is required to maintain any evidence of the incident including but not limited to any CCTV (video) of the incident. If Publix or any potential defendant fails to preserve evidence after being placed on notice, it could be subject to sanctions in the ensuing litigation.

A Defendant in a personal injury lawsuit may be sanctioned for the failure to preserve evidence after receipt of proper notice. As a sanction on the defendant, the Plaintiff may be entitled to a rebuttable presumption of negligence or at a minimum, an adverse inference from which the jury could infer that the CCTV/video was unfavorable to the Defendants. Osmulski v Oldsmar Fine Wine, 93 So 3d 389, (2DCA 2012); and Martino v. Wal-Mart, 908 So 2d 342 (FL 2005). The presumption of inference would be included in the jury instructions at trial.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Can be Filed Against Publix in Miami

Wolfson & Leon is ready to file a lawsuit for any negligently injured customer against Publix for personal injuries and damages arising out of the aforementioned Taser attack by a Publix security guard. The Complaint would include four counts including:

  • Assault and Battery
  • Negligent Training and Supervision
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Negligent Training and Supervision of the Publix Manager

A jury trial would be demanded. Discovery would be propounded to Publix. In litigation, Publix will be asked to provide all documents and materials used in training employees and security guards in dealing with the public and in particular, their customers. The background and training for the employee, security guard, and manager would also be closely examined. Specific focus will be placed on the COVID masking rules of Publix and whether enforcement includes threats, intimidation, and using a Taser to ensure the shoppers’ compliance.

Use of Taser By Publix Security Guard

Chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes govern the use of Taser guns which are defined as “electric weapons”. Generally, it is illegal to carry a Taser or “stun gun” for any purpose other than self-defense. It can be considered a first-degree misdemeanor if a Taser is used or brandished in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening way except for self-defense.

Publix Personal Injury Lawyers in Miami

Wolfson & Leon has defended the rights of injury victims since 1963. No matter the size and financial strength of a defendant, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Wolfson & Leon will take on that fight for their clients. Throughout Florida, their Publix accident attorneys have represented clients injured in:

  • Publix slip and fall accidents
  • Trip and fall accidents at Publix
  • Negligent security at supermarkets including Publix
  • Parking lot injuries at retail and grocery stores like Publix
  • Employee assault on customers
  • Security guard negligence
  • Assault and battery by a security guard
  • False imprisonment by security guards

With offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach Wolfson & Leon litigates personal injury cases throughout the state of Florida. Clients are never charged a fee unless a financial recovery is made. To get the answers you need, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at Wolfson & Leon by calling 305-285-1115 anytime – day or night.


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