An Abbotsford lawyer is suing the Hudson’s Bay Company for $10,000, claiming he was assaulted by one of their security guards in January.
Greg Lanning told The News he was purchasing pants at The Bay department store in Sevenoaks Shopping Centre on Jan. 10.
He said he asked the teller to cut the label off the trousers but the request was refused and instead met with a series of questions.
Then, he said, a security guard stepped in, swearing and accusing Lanning of being racist towards the teller, who Lanning said was Indo-Canadian.
Lanning said the guard threatened to call the police for causing a disturbance.
Lanning claims the guard tried to start a fight.
“He tried to provoke a fight in the way you’ve probably seen teenagers do: they press their body up close to the other person and thrust their face into the other person and glare and stare, same as dogs do, and try to provoke a fight.”
Next, Lanning said he was assaulted.
“He was just furious. He wanted to throw me out of the store, grabbed me by the neck, threw me down to the ground. I didn’t fight back, of course. I just kept my hands to my sides.”
Lanning said a “very cold, very hostile” supervisor then showed up.
“He was absolutely not interested in how I’d been assaulted. The fault, in the supervisor’s eyes, lay with me.”
Lanning said he paid for the pants and left. He said he asked for the security guard’s name but didn’t get it.
Lanning said he returned to the store three times in the ensuing months and spoke to several different managers, who each claimed they would look into the incident and follow up. They never did, he said.
“They’ve done absolutely nothing. They just stonewalled the whole thing,” Lanning said.
“I might have been satisfied with just an apology but they wouldn’t even give that, not even a two word expression: ‘We’re sorry.’ Nope, it’s the customer’s fault if he gets assaulted.”
Lanning filed suit in provincial court, demanding $10,000 for “general damages for the tort of assault and battery.” He is also claiming $176 in filing and service fees.
None of Lanning’s claims have been tested or proven in court. HBC has not filed a response and a company spokesperson, Tiffany Bourre, said: “As a matter of company policy we do not comment on pending litigation.”