PHILADELPHIA – The case of a Philadelphia man who alleged he was wrongfully accused of retail theft, unlawfully detained and was the victim of excessive police force at a Pep Boys store in the Port Richmond neighborhood has been dismissed.
In response to a motion for summary judgment filed by Pep Boys on Dec. 3 and a motion to dismiss filed by Security Services USA, Inc. on Dec. 4, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Shelley Robins-New ordered the case dismissed on Jan. 8.
Donald A. Grauber of Philadelphia first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 10, 2017 versus The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe and Jack (a.k.a. “Pep Boys”) of Philadelphia, plus Cedar Realty Trust, Inc., Port Richmond, LLC 1 and Security Services USA, Inc. (a.k.a. “Securitas”), all of Harrisburg.
On May 28, 2015, plaintiff Grauber entered the Pep Boys store in question with a previously purchased piece of merchandise, for the specific purpose of returning it. He says he was then wrongfully accused of retail theft, tackled to the ground and forcibly restrained by Raul A. Castro Cintron, the store manager, and a security officer present.
“Subsequent to being tackled, plaintiff was forcibly made to lay face down on the ground until Officer Ramos of the Philadelphia Police Department arrived to investigate the situation. The forcible restraint and detention of plaintiff by defendants’ agents, servants, workmen and/or employees was performed in furtherance of the policies and procedures adopted by defendants,” the suit stated.
The suit added the defendants did not have probable cause to believe the plaintiff was responsible for theft and presented no evidence of same. As a result of the detainment and force used therein, the plaintiff says he suffered a broken wrist so severe that it caused permanent nerve damage and required surgical repair.
In new matter filed by Pep Boys on May 14, 2018, the store alleged Grauber’s claims failed to state a cause of action, were negligent as a matter of law, caused by his own negligence and barred by the statute of limitations and the doctrine of assumption of risk. Pep Boys also attempted to assert joint and several liability, however, if Grauber’s claims were proven true.
Subsequent to the defense motions, the case was then later dismissed earlier this month.
For counts of negligence, assault and battery, intentional, reckless and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, the plaintiff was seeking damages in excess of $50,000, in addition to a trial by jury.
The plaintiff was represented by Daniel Breen of The Rothenberg Law Firm, in Philadelphia.
The defendants were represented by Brigid A. Judge of Campbell Lipski & Dochney in Philadelphia, Charles S. Toomey, Daniel J. Kain and Stephanie M. Venuti of Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park in Radnor and Laura M. Danks of Komjathy & Stewart of Trenton, N.J.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170503731
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org