Old Navy is being sued under claims of inadequate security at its Chicago State Street store in Lowe, et al. v. Old Navy, LLC, No. 10 L 7624. The issue of the Chicago premise liability lawsuit involves a murder-suicide that occurred in an employee-restricted area of the Chicago location.
On May 7, 2010, Tranesha Palms was shot and killed by Eugene Robertson, the father of her two year-old son. Reports indicate that the shooting may have been in response to a dispute between the two parents and the fact that Palms had moved out of their home shortly before the Chicago shooting. The Illinois inadequate security lawsuit was brought on behalf of their surviving son.
The estate alleges that Palms’s death could have been prevented if better security had been provided by the Chicago Old Navy store. The morning of her death Palms entered the store by way of a restricted employee entrance. However, she required another employee to buzz her in, at which point Robertson entered with her. Once inside the restricted area of the store Robertson shot and killed Palms before then killing himself.
The store’s employee entrance was monitored by video surveillance. However, the black and white screen being used at the time of the shooting did not allow those viewing the monitor to identify peoples’ faces. That equipment has since been updated.
The estate accuses Old Navy of providing inadequate security and improperly training its employees so as to ensure other employees’ safety. These accusations are based on the estate’s contention that Old Navy should have known that allowing unauthorized people to enter by way of an employee entrance posed a risk to its workers.
The estate also alleges that Old Navy knew or should have known that Robertson intended to hurt or kill Palms. Unconfirmed reports indicate that a few days before the shooting a store manager had to talk to Robertson about his behavior. If these reports are confirmed the estate’s attorneys will most likely modify the complaint to include these additional claims. Currently, the inadequate security case is pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
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