Home Depot sued for battery after accusing customer of stealing

Michelle Keahey Jun. 8, 2012, 2:46am

NEW ORLEANS - A frequent customer to a Gretna Home Depot has filed a lawsuit against the store that claims he was physically assaulted and accused of stealing by store employees.

Ernest Green filed suit against The Home Depot Inc., Kevin Duncan, Matt Laroche, Arthur Lawson Jr., and the City of Gretna on May 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Green visited the Home Depot store in Gretna for the purpose of exchanging a wooden window blind on May 31, 2012.

He exchanged the product with the help of a Home Depot manager who tagged it with a blue exchange sticker to show that it had been paid for. Green was headed to his car with the blind when he was stopped and accused of shoplifting by a Home Depot employee.

The employee called for a Gretna police officer, who was working a security detail at the store. Although Green explained the exchange and showed the sticker, security threatened to taser Green, handcuffed Green and paraded him through the Home Depot store to a room in the back. Green states that once they entered the room, security physically attacked him, slamming him into the lockers. Eventually, Green's story was verified with the Home Depot manager and he was allowed to leave the store.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of more than $600,000 in damages for medical expenses, mental, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress due to public humiliation, punitive damages, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Green is represented by Robert C. Jenkins of Robert C. Jenkins & Associates in New Orleans and Betsy J. Barnes and Richard L. Root of Barnes and Root in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01164

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