Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Customer and supermarket reach settlement in suit alleging employee spied on her while in the restroom

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 17, 2015

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder dismissed with prejudice a case alleging a supermarket employee videotaped and photographed and customer in the ladies’ restroom after the parties reached a settlement.

According to the complaint, Ann Gray claims Schuette SuperValu Market employee Jonathan Spotanski used his cell phone to take photos and video recordings of her and another woman through a hole in the ceiling of the ladies’ restroom.

Spotanski allegedly stood on the toilet in the men’s restroom and used a cellular phone to take photos and videos while reaching through the ceiling tile and over the wall separating the two bathrooms of the business, Gray alleges.

In her amended complaint, Gray argues that Schuette SuperValu Market attempted to conceal the gap between the ceiling and wall separating the men’s and women’s restrooms with a drop ceiling and unsecured ceiling tiles. At the time of the incident, several of those ceiling tiles were missing from both the men’s and women’s restrooms.

Spotanski was able to gather photographs and video recordings of the plaintiff by reaching through the ceiling space where the tiles were missing, the suit claims.

The plaintiff also alleges that the Schuette SuperValu Market management didn’t know Spotanski’s whereabouts until Gray informed a manager of his actions in the men’s restroom. She blames the store of negligent and careless maintenance of its premises for failing to assure that no other customers or employees had access to unlawfully videotape or take pictures of customers using the women’s restroom, failing to ensure that the restrooms were completely separated and failing to inspect the restrooms and discover the missing ceiling tiles.

Gray blames Spotanski for failing “to assure his work-related actions in pursuing alleged shoplifters were performed in a manner in which no harm was done to plaintiff when he videotaped and/or photographed plaintiff while she used the women’s restroom,” the amended complaint states.

Spotanski answered the complaint through attorney James E. Gorman of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson in Edwardsville, arguing that the plaintiff was not injured or damaged to the extent claimed.

The parties filed a stipulation for dismissal on with prejudice on Sept. 24 after reaching a confidential settlement with Gray.

Crowder filed an order dismissing the case on Sept. 28.

Theodore J. MacDonald, Jr., and Benjamin W. Powell of Edwardsville represents Schuette Stores, Inc.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-683

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