$5,784,572 :: Bennett v. Kinney Shoes

JURY VERDICT: Security guard shot while making bank deposit

A Kinney shoe company was ordered to pay $5.8 million to a former security guard after he was shot and paralyzed while making a night deposit.

Ernest Bennett was employed as a security guard at Kinney Shoe Corp. He worked at their Manchester Boulevard location in South-Central Los Angeles. At the end of this particular work day, around 9:30pm, Bennett drove the store manager to a night deposit machine. Other guards had experienced issues at the same machine, including an incident where the guard was required to draw his gun to prevent a robbery and assault on his person. Bennett was shot in the abdomen immediately after exiting his vehicle. The shooter was never caught.

The store manager testified at trial that he had requested changes in the deposit process for five years before the shooting, including requesting an armored car pickup at the store. The owners had not listened to the manager, and had even changed deposit locations to a poorly lit and less safe location.

The case took five years to reach a verdict. The jury deliberated for only a few hours before awarding Mr. Bennett $4 million for pain and suffering, and $1.7 million for medical care and lost wages.

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