Benckini v. Giant Food Stores (USA)

George Benckini was a patron of the Giant Food Store located at 216 Fairmont Street, Coopersburg, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Benckini asserts he entered the store and while he was inside, a Giant employee allegedly stared at his “sexual organ” and later groped him near the checkout area. Benckini alleges the purported assailant was a transgender person named either “Tommy” or “Falicia,” and described the individual as being approximately five foot eight inches tall with long black hair and weighing between 150 and 180 pounds. 

Benckini asserted that after the incident, he went to the manager’s office to lodge a complaint. He left after being informed that the manager was out of the office. On August 15, 2013, Benckini drafted a letter with an account of the assault and mailed it to the Giant store. Benckini’s deposition indicates that he did not seek any treatment, medical or psychological, for the assault. There is no evidence of record indicating that similar incidents have occurred before or since at the Giant location.

According to Giant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, in the summer of 2011, the Giant store at issue had a transgender employee. The store manager, David Kane, provided an affidavit indicating that at the time of the alleged incident, the transgender employee was approximately twenty years old and had black hair. However, an affidavit offered by Christianna Benner, Giant Food Stores’ Coordinator Claims Risk Management/Safety, indicated that the employee’s last day at Giant was July 28, 2011. Accordingly, the transgender individual was not employed by Giant on the date and time in question, and there was not a transsexual or transgender employee working at Giant’s premises.

The court thus granted giant’s motion for summary judgment, as it was not responsible for the actions of a person it did not employ.

Benckini v. V Giant Food Stores