Robbery victim sues gas station for lack of assistance

By Jim Boyle | Jun 5, 2014

The victim of a robbery at a Philadelphia gas station says the business owners and managers did not do enough to prevent the crime or render aid when he was attacked, according to a civil suit filed at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Henderson Odom, of the 1500 block of W. Sergeant St. in Philadelphia, says that the owners of the Getty service station on Broad Street knew that the location had a high crime rate, but did not employ any effective security measures. He has also sued his attacker for assault and battery and seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

According to the complaint, Odom stopped into the Getty gas station on Sept. 18, 2013 when Joseph Smith attacked him and stole lottery tickets that Odom had just purchased. The complaint says that the attack occurred in plain view of the gas station employees, but nobody offered to help Odom.

Smith was arrested the next day and pleaded guilty in May 2014 to robbery and aggravated assault. The suit accuses the gas station owners of having prior knowledge that the location had been subject to more than 3,000 criminal acts between 2011 and 2013, yet did not make any security improvements that would ensure the safety of their customers.

As a result of the attack, Odom suffered severe injuries to his face and head, the complaint says. While Smith was directly responsible for the injuries, Odom says that the Getty station's management and employees failed in their duties to provide a safe environment.

Odom is represented by Philadelphia attorney Anthony Cianfrani.

The case ID number is 140503183.

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