Cricket Communications store and security guard named in assault and battery lawsuit

Jon Campisi Jun. 21, 2011, 9:04am

A Bensalem, Pa. man who alleges he was assaulted by a security agent working for a wireless communications store is suing the contractor and the store for assault and battery.

Philadelphia attorney David Levenberg filed the civil complaint June 17 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Keith Cohen.

The defendants named in the suit are Horsham, Pa.-based G4S Secure Solutions USA, Philadelphia-based Leap Wireless International, and Philadelphia resident Sabrea M. Houston.

According to the lawsuit, Cohen, a wireless customer, was visiting the Cricket Communications store at 1100 S. Columbus Boulevard one day in late October 2010, when he was “violently grabbed, detained and forcibly removed” by security personnel and store employees.

The suit states that Cohen was a Cricket cell phone subscriber at the time of the alleged incident.

The complaint does not spell out what led up to the alleged encounter at the retail outlet, but states that Cohen was seeking assistance when he was assaulted.

Cohen, who “offered no resistance and/or reason to do so,” when he was beaten about his person, and thrown through the premises door, causing him to sustain various physical injuries, the suit states.

The lawsuit also contains a false imprisonment count, which alleges that Cohen was held against his will until Philadelphia police officers arrived. The officers also arrested and detained Cohen, holding him for an unspecified amount of time until the “defendants admitted to police that plaintiff was not a threat to them, had committed no crime and should be released,” the lawsuit states.

As a result of the incident, Cohen sustained multiple physical injuries, such as muscle sprains and strains, multiple contusions, injuries to his ligaments, discs, bones, nerves, blood vessels and aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

All of his injures, the lawsuit states, have prevented Cohen from carrying out his daily duties and activities, and have caused him to spend large amounts of money on medical expenses.

The complaint accuses the defendants of carelessness, recklessness and negligence. It faults the store and security company for hiring and keeping “known and vicious employees,” including defendant Houston, who is alleged to have a propensity for “causing harm to customers and subscribers through use of force and intimidation,” the suit states.

The lawsuit contains counts of negligence, assault and battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as allegations of violating unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws.

For each count in the suit, Cohen seeks compensatory and punitive damages in an amount in excess of $50,000.

The non-jury matter is scheduled for arbitration on Feb. 12, 2012.

The case number is 110601462.

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