1/30/15

Obituary for Graham Gentles

August 30, 1991 - July 18, 2014
Monrovia, California | Age 22
Loving Son
Graham Gentles Obituary Photo

http://www.tributes.com/obituary/photos/Graham-Gentles-101608833

Graham Gentles mother set up a 'memorial page' for him at:

https://www.facebook.com/GrahamAGentles


This is only the latest example of how bad a chain that Target is and this case will be followed on this and other of my blog sites, check back for additional details as available.

The case of Virginia Gentles v. Target Corp (BC 570020) was filed 1/22/15 regarding a July 2014 incident where actions by Target employees at their Pasadena store (Target Store T-0883, 777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101-2104) subsequently resulted in the suicide of a discharged Target cashier.


While the litigation starts in the 'Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles' it will be moved to the 9th Circuit of the U.S. District Court due to diversity of citizenship as Target HQ is in Minnesota.  The 9th Circuit consists of 7 Western States and so far this year 9 suits involving Target have been filed, last year there were 105.      


In addition to Target Corp, the individual defendants are Anthony Mims, the Pasadena store team leader, and Charles Godinez, the store's executive team leader for asset protection.


When I pull the filing from the Federal court site I will add it to my blog at http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com/.  As I have done with other suits, I will add a separate blog to contain the filing as it will be far to large to add to this site.


The current claim is for unspecified monetary damages and alleged in part:

Count 1 - False Imprisonment
Count 2 - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Count 3 - Negligence

Target is frequently sued and they do not settle cases, they let them all go to trial.  Some they win some they lose.  When they lose they appeal.  These cases drag on for years and this will be no exception.

======================================================


UPDATE 1/30/15:

This free weekly handout publication in LA County has some otherwise unreported information on why Mr. Gentles may have been removed from Target.  Whether it is correct or not is not known.

To see the article go to:  http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com/
=======================================

The incident continues to be reported, usually the original story is simply quoted but ABC Eyewitness News 7 in LA has a bit more info than most and they say in part:

"He said, 'Mom, I've never stolen,'" Virginia Gentles recalled. "He said, 'They did the walk of shame, I had to do the walk of shame. But they only do that when people steal and I've never stolen a thing.'"


The complaint alleges that an argument between Graham Gentles and a coworker at a bar outside of work hours may have prompted the incident. The suit says it's believed that allegations made by the coworker led to store management calling for Gentles' arrest and "walk of shame."


According to the complaint, the so-called "walk of shame" has happened on numerous occasions to employees who were suspected of stealing.


"One of the primary purposes of this lawsuit is that Target stops the policy immediately [and] recognizes the harm that it could do," said McNicholas. 


See their full report at:

http://abc7.com/news/lawsuit-pasadena-target-employee-killed-self-after-being-shamed/488247/

Gentles
Gentles, who had just enlisted, with his mother Virginia (right) via Facebook.

Gentles

Graham Gentles
Graham Gentles via Facebook.
Target
Pasadena Target.
Courtyard Marriott
Gentles jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia (above).




"My Only Child": Mom Sues Target Over Son's Suicide

A Southern California woman's son jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott three days after he was fired, she says

By Kim Baldonado


Target is facing a lawsuit filed by a mother who says her son committed suicide after he was forced to take part in a humiliating disciplinary event in front of co-workers and customers.

(Published Friday, Jan 23, 2015)  Updated at 9:46 AM PST on Saturday, Jan 24, 2015

The suit claims 22-year-old Graham A. Gentles, a former cashier at the retail chain's Pasadena store, was humiliated when he was subjected to what the family's attorney called a "walk of shame," a ritual during which the employee is paraded around the store in handcuffs.


"I don't want any other mother to have to go through what I've gone through," said Graham's mother Virginia Gentles, who filed the lawsuit. "This is my only child."

Virginia Gentles filed the suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Her son jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia on July 18, three days after he was fired and required by the Target store and allegedly forced to the "walk of shame."

"The only thing he said to me at that moment was, 'Mom this is the worst day of my life,'" Virginia Gentles said.

Target released a statement Friday expressing sympathy for the family.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of this individual,'' Target spokesman Evan Lapiska said. "As this is pending litigation, we don't have further comment at this time.''

According to the complaint, police and store security met Graham Gentles immediately as he arrived for work. At the direction of two members of the store management, he was handcuffed and led before other store employees to an office, the suit states.

"Mr. Gentles was shocked, confused and mortified at being handcuffed and walked through the Target store in front of co-workers and customers,'' the suit states. "Mr. Gentles had no idea why he was being arrested.''

He was questioned in the office, then later taken to the police station, the suit states.

"While he was cuffed he was paraded through the store into a room and was interrogated there," attorney Patrick McNicholas said. "He was then paraded back out to the store, put into a patrol car and taken to Pasadena police station."

However, he was later released and never charged with any crime, according to the complaint.

The suit alleges the actions by the two Target managers were part of a company practice that other employees had also experienced.


"The walk of shame is a Target policy to purposely cause shame, embarrassment and emotional distress to any Target employee who is suspected of stealing from Target,'' the suit states. "The policy consists of employees being arrested and paraded in handcuffs through the Target store in full view of co-workers and customers.''

Target told NBC4 on Friday it did not have a "walk of shame" policy but could not comment any further.


However, the suit alleges that Graham Gentles' involvement in a "verbal altercation'' with another Target worker at a bar outside of work hours several months before the handcuffing incident may have prompted management to subject him to the "walk of shame,'' the suit states.

Her attorney claims the experience was intensified by the fact Graham had Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism.

"The nature of Aspergers he tended to hyper focus and so he was very hyper focused on this," McNicholas said. "He was hyper focused on his loss and it was a perfect storm which resulted in his death."

Graham Gentles was a loyal employee who always arrived early to his job, the suit states.

The suit alleges that Graham Gentles' suicide was directly related to his treatment by Target management.


See the original report at:  
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Target-Faces-Lawsuit-Over-Employees-Suicide-289662711.html


Lawyers for the plaintiff Virginia Gentles are:
Philip Shakhnis - Calif. Bar #199461, e-mail: ps@mcnicholaslaw.com and John Patrick McNicholas IV - Calif. Bar #125868

McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP,  10866 Wilshire Blvd Ste #1400, Los Angeles, CA 90024  Phone Number: (310) 474-1582, Fax Number: (310) 475-7871  Website:  www.mcnicholaslaw.com

CASE SUMMARY

Case Number:  BC570020
VIRGINIA GENTLES VS TARGET CORPORATION ET AL
Filing Date:  01/22/2015
Case Type:  Other PI/PD/WD (General Jurisdiction)
Status:  Pending

Parties
GENTLES VIRGINIA - Plaintiff/Petitioner
MCNICHOLAS & MCNICHOLAS LLP - Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
DOES 1 THROUGH 100 - Defendant/Respondent
MIMS ANTHONY - Defendant/Respondent
GODINEZ CHARLES - Defendant/Respondent
TARGET CORPORATION - Defendant/Respondent

Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)
01/22/2015 Complaint

Proceedings Held (Proceeding dates listed in descending order)
None

=============================================================


Lawsuit claims Pasadena Target employee committed suicide after being shamed
The mother of a former cashier at Target in Pasadena is suing the retailer, alleging that her son committed suicide after being humiliated by management.

In the lawsuit, Virginia Gentles claims her son, 22-year-old Graham Gentles, was driven to suicide after he was accused of committing a felony, handcuffed and "paraded" through the store in front of coworkers and customers.

Graham Gentles jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia on July 18, three days after he was allegedly required by Target management to take part in what the lawsuit calls a "walk of shame."

The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.


According to the complaint, Gentles was met by police and Target security personnel at the front of the store as he arrived for work on July 15. 

The suit alleges that police forcefully grabbed him, emptied his pockets and pulled his hat off. At the direction of two members of the store management, he was handcuffed and led to an office, according to the suit.

"Gentles was shocked, confused and mortified at being hand-cuffed and walked through the Target store in front of co-workers and store customers. Mr. Gentles had no idea why he was being arrested," the complaint says.


Gentles was taken to the police station, but he was released the same day and never charged.

The suit says Gentles, who had Asperger's Syndrome, "experienced severe emotional distress" following the arrest.

The complaint alleges that an argument between Gentles and a coworker at a bar outside of work hours may have prompted the incident. The suit says it's believed that allegations made by the coworker led to store management calling for Gentles' arrest and "walk of shame."

According to the complaint, the so-called "walk of shame" has happened on numerous occasions to employees who were suspected of stealing.

Target released a statement on Friday, saying, "Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of this individual. As this is pending litigation, we don't have further comment at this time." 

City News Service contributed to this report.

Source:   abc7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------














Man jumps to his death off Monrovia Courtyard Marriott roof privateofficer.com


Monrovia CA  July 22 2014 A 22-year-old man jumped off a hotel roof in Monrovia in an apparent suicide, a police lieutenant told Patch.
Graham A. Gentles was pronounced dead at the scene following his jump, reported shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, July 18, according to Monrovia police Lt. Zeke Cerecerez.
Officers were called to the Courtyard Marriott Monrovia in the 700 block of West Huntington Drive to investigate the report of a “man down,” possibly from a skateboard accident, the lieutenant said but upon arrival, police determined that Gentles had jumped.
It was unclear how the rooftop door was left unlocked, as there were no signs that the man had forced the lock onto the roof from the top floor of the nine-story hotel.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As usual I like to mass mail the Tarbutt stores in the area of their latest screw ups to let them know that they made the top of my blog site:


* Who Looks At This Blog?

Topix