Can I take action against a store if due to poor security I was sexually assaulted by a man peeping in the fitting rooms?

I have tried to contact the company and the are avoiding my phone calls. They have the man on camera. When management was notified at the store they did not even send someone back to make sure the man was gone. I was down to just my underwear with no bra when I saw eyes over the top of the door. I want them to fix the situation that led to letting this happen. Taller doors, the current ones are shorter than the avgerage man’s height and post an employee at the entrance to the fitting rooms. What can I do to help prevent another woman being exposed like this?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Personal Injury, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have suffered an actual physical assault or injury, you could potentially sue the store if you can show that the assault was made possible owing to the store's failure to provide reasonable security or take other reasonable action under the circumstances. However, the U.S. legal system only provides compensation, in the vast majority of cases, for actual physical injuries, and not for embarrassment or feeling that you were compromised. Therefore, you could likely not sue for enough money to even cover the cost of litigation, if he was "only" (and that's not to make light of it; this is clearly a traumatic experience) a peeping tom.

That's not to say you cannot or should not contact owners, corporate office, etc. to complain, and see if they will take steps to correct any deficiencies and/or offer you compensation. If you know who the man is, or he can be identified/found, you could also press charges against him with the police.

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