Sexual assault claim filed against Mercedes-Benz

Jon Campisi May 23, 2011, 7:58pm

A Delaware woman has filed a lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz, USA, LLC and one of its employees alleging assault and battery, claims that date back to a January incident in which the plaintiff says she was groped while shopping for an automobile.

The civil complaint was filed May 19 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Leonard Hill of the firm Leonard K. Hill & Associates on behalf of Jacqueena James of Wilmington.

According to the lawsuit, which also names as defendants Mercedes-Benz, USA, Inc. of Philadelphia, Mercedes-Benz of Cherry Hill, N.J. and Ed Albertus of Cherry Hill, N.J., James was shopping at the Philadelphia car dealership on Jan. 6 of this year when she was allegedly “grabbed, groped, harassed and otherwise sexually assaulted” by Albertus, an employee of the dealership.

Specifics as to the incident are not spelled out in the suit.

The lawsuit accuses the company of negligence for not properly training its employees on proper conduct with regard to customers and for “allowing, endorsing, tolerating or perpetuating the inappropriate sexual advances of employees onto customers.”

James, according to the lawsuit, has suffered psychological impairment and mental anguish due to the alleged harassment, and has been caused to expend various sums of money for treatment.

The lawsuit contains one count of negligence and a second count of sexual assault. The plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendants in an amount not in excess of $50,000, together with interest and court costs for both counts listed, for a total of $100,000.

The non-jury matter is scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Jan. 23, 2012.

The case number is 110502197.

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