Cosmetics saleswoman sues Dillard's over alleged verbal assault and detention

By Andrea Dearden | Jan 2, 2013

A cosmetics saleswoman says she was verbally assaulted and detained without cause by employees of a Fairveiw Heights department store.

Svetlana Elkins filed a lawsuit Dec.12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dillard's Inc. and Hancy Grimes.

According to the complaint, Elkins began working as a salesperson for Falic Fashion Group in October 2011 and was assigned to sell fragrance products in major retail stores around the area. On May 6 Elkins was reportedly assigned to the Dillard's store in Fairview Heights.

Elkins claims while she was working in the fragrance department that day she was approached by Grimes, Dillard's fragrance manager. Elkins contends Grimes began yelling, pointing her finger and positioning herself in a manner Elkins calls "threatening".

Later, Elkins says, Grimes returned to the fragrance counter with an armed security officer and another Dillard's manager. Elkins alleges the security officer asked if she wanted to go to jail or to the store's security office. Elkins says she did not want to be arrested so she was taken to the office and told to sit in a chair reserved for detainees.

Elkins claims she asked what she had done wrong but did not receive a response, was not allowed to make a phone call and was threatened with being taken to the St. Clair County jail. Instead, she was allegedly escorted to her car, told to leave and never return.

Elkins says she feared for her safety and accuses the store and its manager of assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference with her employment. She asks for at least $200,000 in damages for medical care and court costs.

Attorney Greg Roosevelt of Edwardsville represents Elkins.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-658

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