ALBANY, Ga. (CBS46) — Attorneys for Albany resident Michael King have filed suit against the Dollar General Corporation for an incident they say left King in the hospital on life support.
In late October, King was accused of trying to steal roughly $46 of household items from the Albany discount store. The lawsuit alleges that an employee sat on top of King to detain him, smothering him as the man repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”
King was injured and sent to the hospital after being trapped under the man for at least 9 minutes.
“He had to be sedated,” said attorney Daedra Fenwick. “He was on a ventilator for nine days. He had collapsed lungs, a punctured lung, and a liver injury.”
The incident went on for 9 minutes as the manager watched and closed the doors to the store.
King’s attorney L. Chris Stewart says his firm is suing Dollar General and two employees for gross negligence and punitive damages.
“This was insanity,” Stewart said. “The screams of I can’t breathe are a reminder of what we heard with George Floyd and it had dire consequences.”
The Albany Dollar General’s manager is named in the suit for allegedly closing the doors of the store while the incident happened.
“You can see a witness say how the doors were locked by the manager not letting anyone in,” Stewart said. “You see other employees and the manager walk right by and keep looking and didn’t order Mr. Harvery off of Mr. King. This is why this is Dollar General is entirely at fault,” he added.
The legal team says Harvey still cannot walk after the incident that happened in late October.
“This is obviously improper store policy instead of telling them to leave the items, put them down and talk to them,” Stewart exclaimed.
CSB46 reached out to Dollar General via phone and email Tuesday afternoon but did not immediately get a response to inquiries about the lawsuit.