Lizzy Fitzsousa Mar. 3, 2014, 5:48pm

NEW ORLEANS – Two New Orleans residents are suing a national discount retail chain after they were allegedly held at gunpoint in a local store in an incident that left a New Orleans police officer critically wounded.

Richard Marullo and Tammy Richard filed suit against Dollar General Corporation in the Orleans Civil District Court on Dec. 11, 2013.

Plaintiffs allege that on Feb. 23, 2013 an armed robber put a gun to Richard’s head and corralled her, Marullo, and all the customers into the manager’s office before becoming agitated when he couldn’t open the safe. They assert that a police officer then arrived, unaware there was a robbery in progress. The gunman then shot the policeman twice in the neck before fleeing. Marullo and Richards claim they stayed with the officer while the rest of the hostages ran to the front of the store for safety and that Marullo used the officer’s radio to call for help.

The defendant is accused of not having a security guard or a security plan. They are accused of having recently removed a security guard from the store, despite prior security issues.
Richard and Marullo are both suing for mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. They have both have incurred medical, hospital, therapy and related expenses and their injuries have interfered with both their abilities to work, the suit claims.

Dollar General responded on Jan. 24 saying it was not responsible for the incident and any injuries sustained were due to negligence on behalf of the petitioners or someone else.

Dollar General is represented by Dominic J. Ovella, Sean P. Mount, Jason M. Baer and Philip D. Lorio IV of Metairie.

Plaintiff is represented by attorney Kara Hadican Samuels of New Orleans.

Case is assigned to Division N Judge Ethel S. Julien.

Case no. 2013-11579.

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