Pharmacist sues Securitas over assault in ESL parking lot

Kelly Holleran Jun. 2, 2011, 2:21am


An Edwardsville man has filed suit against the security company that he claims failed to protect him from being assaulted in a parking lot.

Timothy Rallo claims he was leaving his work as a pharmacy manager at Schnuck Markets in East St. Louis and was strolling through the parking lot on June 9, 2010, when he was physically attacked and assaulted.

Because of the attack, Rallo sustained serious and permanent injuries to his nose, face, eyes, septum and brain, according to the complaint filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
In addition, he experienced pain, mental and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder; became sick, sore, lame and disabled; and incurred medical costs, the suit states.

At the time of the incident, Schnuck had hired defendant Securitas Security Services to provide security guards to protect its patrons and workers, the complaint says. Indeed, two security officers -- defendants Marquita Hickman-New and Stephen P. Guetterman -- were working when Rallo was attacked.

Rallo says the attack never would have occurred, however, if the officers were correctly performing their jobs.

He blames the guards for negligently failing to provide security solutions to deter attacks, for failing to be able to work unsupervised, for failing to be attentive, for failing to provide direct supervision to deter crimes and for failing to provide protection services in a careful manner. In addition, the guards failed to make a highly visible presence at Schnuck's, failed to be alert for suspicious people, failed to be highly visible at the store's front entrance, failed to accompany Rallo to his vehicle and failed to keep a proper lookout, the suit states.

Securitas negligently failed to provide security solutions, failed to provide honest and attentive employees, failed to provide adequate direct supervision, failed to provide protection services provided by qualified employees, failed to require security guards to make a highly visible presence, failed to hire alert officers, failed to required a guard accompany Rallo to his vehicle and failed to undertake precautions to ensure guards were not distracted, the complaint says.

In his three-count suit, Rallo is seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs.

Mark S. Schuver of Mathis, Marifian and Richter in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-236.

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