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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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my wife and i were in a department store called kohls.looking

Customer Question

my wife and i were in a department store called kohls.looking for shoes .while there my wife was kicked by an employee. we have put in a complaint and filed a police report. also had medical services rendered to her ankle where he kicked her. the employee when asked by me what happened he replyed i kicked your wife and then he left without any explanation .we found a other employee to help us and filed the claim. what is our next step? the police are in the process of getting the store tapes.this man was a black man and my wife is white. we feel he did it deliberatly because of our color
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. What step you take next is up to you, but there are generally two legal options: there is the criminal option and there is the civil option.

It appears that you have elected to exercise the criminal option by pursuing prosecution. The police are involved, the store is cooperating, etc., so what you can do is help in that investigation and pursuit to the extent possible.

The civil option is to sue the individual and perhaps the store for your damages. The individual is undoubtedly liable and your wife can sue him for her actual quantifiable damages, such as medical services, as well as her pain and suffering. Suing the store is not so easy; they would only be liable if the employee kicked your wife under their instruction or if they had reason to know that he would kick her as their employee--in most cases, an employer is not liable for the deliberate misconduct of its employees. However, the store likely carries liability insurance and most policies have a "no fault" provision whereby the insurance will pay a small amount even if there is no actual liability--usually it will only total perhaps $1,000 or $5,000, but it is better than nothing. Your wife, on her own behalf or through an attorney, may contact the store and ask for their insurance information so she can open a claim and see where it takes her.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
as far as suing this man, that will be a joke, he does not have a pot to piss in thats why he did not care to tell me he did it. why in your opinion due you believe it will be so hard to collect from kohls?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
As I mentioned, the store is not liable for the intentional torts of its employees unless the employee is acting under the store's direction or if the store had reason to know that the employee would commit the intentional tort. Imagine that you hire a babysitter for your kid; while you are out of the home, the babysitter puts your child to bed, then proceeds to go on an arson-spree and burns down half the town. The babysitter was in your employ while it happened, but clearly you had no way to anticipate that s/he would have done that and s/he was not acting at your direction, so you could not be held responsible for her decisions. It is no different for Kohl's.