Woman attacked by homeless sues grocery store

by Walter Olson on February 10, 2010

“A woman who says she was attacked by a homeless man and woman while leaving a Jewel Food Store is suing the store and the alleged homeless individuals.” [Jennifer Fernicola, ChicagoNow]

{ 5 comments }

1 nevins 02.10.10 at 12:44 pm

The complaint refers to the alleged assailant as ‘homeless’ dozens of times. Whether these persons are permanent-address-challenged or not irrelevant to her case, and repeatedly bashing on the homeless by defining it as a risk factor for aggressive or assaultive behavior is not likely to cast her in a favorable light. As in: Ma’am, do you have any unfair biases or preconceived notions about homeless persons that may have made you behave in a repulsed manner, or otherwise conveyed your deep sense of disgust for the defendant that might itself have provoked in the defendant a reasonably understandable urge to pop you one? How do you know someone is homeless merely by looking at them? Does anyone on the jury today appear to be homeless to you?
Quite possibly the ‘snooty bitch had it coming’ defense would be possible.

2 Melvin H. 02.10.10 at 8:35 pm

Um, nevins….could it be likely that they SAID they were homeless?
(Or, equally likely: Unless you worked at a store, why would you be there almost every day?)

3 Dave from CT 02.10.10 at 9:00 pm

Nevins,
It is a sad fact that those of the permanent-address-challenged community, lacking a place of their own to stay, tend to get in the way of we in the “stay-out-of-my-way, and-no -I- don’t-want-to-share-any-of-my-hard-earned-possessions” community.

I’m pretty sure we know who the agressors were here. I doubt that the woman preemptively threatened them. Even if she said mean things they do not have the right to assault her.

4 nevins 02.11.10 at 9:53 am

Read the law suit papers.
I’m not justifying anyone’s actions. I just found it interesting how the plaintiff’s attorney found it necessary to cite homelessness so many times in the legal document. My point was that if one paints a negative enough picture of that it becomes hyperbole then there is the possibility of the strategy back-firing. The homeless persons are not part of the suit, only the deep pocket store. In the complaint against the store, homeless bashing might work to the detriment of his action. If the attorney or his client manage to cast themselves as insensitive louts regarding the homeless they just might manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

5 Robert 02.13.10 at 12:09 pm

I’m sympathetic to the plaintiff here, esp. if the store or its workers have been feeding these vagrants. If you feed animals, they tend to stick around. That’s why you don’t feed bears at Yellowstone park, etc.

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