If my husband works in loss prevention in a big box retail store and asuspect pulled a gun on him today, do we have any recourse if the store did nothing?

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If my husband works in loss prevention in a big box retail store and asuspect pulled a gun on him today, do we have any recourse if the store did nothing?

The company that my husband works for has re-written their policies to protect the dignity of the suspects. In the process, they’ve written out any policy pertaining to self-protection of the loss prevention employees. Other than unemployment, do we have any recourse against the company (i.e. putting their employees in danger)?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The store did not put your husband in danger--the criminal who pulled a gun on him did. An employer is not liable for the intentional criminal actions of third parties not under its control, except in extraordinary circumstances showing intentional or negligent action on the part of the employer. For example, if the store knew the suspect had a gun and still  asked your husband to deal with him, that could provide a basis for liability; but without their knowledge, it's almost certain they cannot be held liable.

Also, if your husband was not actually injured by the suspect/criminal, there is nothing to sue for--the legal system provides compensation for actual injuries or losses, not for what could have or might have happened.


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