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Shooting victim sues Cary Crossroads Plaza

Posted February 11, 2010
Updated February 12, 2010

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— A HoneyBaked Ham employee who was shot during an attempted robbery last April has sued Cary Crossroads Plaza, alleging that the shopping center has inadequate security measures.

Richard Huether was closing the HoneyBaked Ham store in Crossroads Plaza on April 11, 2009, when, police say, a gunman approached him, tried to rob him and shot him in the stomach.

Huether filed suit last Friday against Ronus Properties LLC, which manages Crossroads Plaza, and its operation manager, Anthony Boyd

"Defendants failed to use ordinary care in protecting lawful visitors," the suit reads. "As a result of the defendants' negligence in their failure to provide adequate security, Rich Huether was shot and injured."

Suspect sought in Cary Honey Baked Ham shooting Shooting victim sues Cary plaza

Huether said that Crossroads didn't have security measures to prevent the shooting and doesn't have any measures to prevent one from happening again.

"I don't want anyone else to experience what my wife and I and my son and my family has had to experience," he said.

A lawyer for Ronus Properties, Rod Petty, said the company plans to vigorously defend against the suit and is filing a legal response.

The suit says that Crossroads didn't have security patrols or surveillance cameras in the area where Huether was shot. That lack, the suit claims, violated industry standards. Most malls, for instance, have a security presence.

The suit also says that despite 327 calls for police service in two years prior to the shooting, Crossroads had failed to warn employees of the danger.

"Is anybody looking after the people here?" Huether said. "The people just have to look after themselves?"

The North Carolina Departments of Labor and Insurance both said they did not know of a law or regulation requiring private businesses to provide security.

If there isn't such a law, Huether said, lawmakers should consider creating measures to require places like Crossroads to protect visitors.

"Presence is what works," he said. "Surveillance cameras, something."

Huether is seeking at least $10,000 for physical pain, permanent injuries, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, diminished future earning capacity and attorneys' fees.

No one has been charged in the shooting. Police described the suspect as a white man between 16 to 25 years old, wearing a gray hooded jacket, white and green ski hat, blue jeans and multi-colored shoes.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4016 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-2745.

23 Comments

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  • henrymiller Feb 12, 2010

    While I sympathise with Mr Huether, I can't agree with him and his attorney that Crossroads Plaza was at fault. If Mr Huether had been struck by a meteorite, would Crossroads Plaza have been at fault for not providing a meteorite-proof roof over the facility?

    Bad things happen. There are bad people out there. The only culpability in this case is that of the man who shot Mr Huether.

    (That said, however, Mr Huether was treated very badly by his employer, HoneyBaked Ham, whose products and services I will not be using again.)

  • Nunya123 Feb 11, 2010

    Viewer - good way to get your 2nd amendment fix. Pathetic.

  • grenlyn1 Feb 11, 2010

    A previous WRAL article stated, "Maggie DeCan, vice president of human resources, said the decision to terminate his employment had to do with following workers' compensation rules and that his release could make him eligible for Social Security disability benefits." They reversed their decision to help him with SSD because he hired a lawyer. It's unfortunate that the perp was never caught, however, if any of you ever got shot at work, you too would want someone to step up and show you that your valant effort was not self-indulgent. Perhaps the company, even though it's "Just a Ham Store", should consider helping this employee out with this law suit. They do pay rent at an open mall and there ARE rules attached to those rent agreements at least on the side of the store's operations...what about the responsibility of the mall itself? We are just shooting in the dark with lame comments if we don't know what those responibilites are.

  • Tax Man Feb 11, 2010

    The $10K in damages is just to get it into the Superior Court - he could actually be suing for millions. Just basic pleading for jurisdiction. If he can prove they had a duty to protect him he will win - that may be hard to prove. I think the insurance company will just settle for $50K or so to make this go away. Feel sorry for the guy, but it is the criminal's fault - need to catch him and lock him up! I rarely go to Crossroads but that is only because their parking is so nasty and there is just too much traffic.

  • OHn8tive Feb 11, 2010

    No where in the story does it say he was fired. The lost wages was probably due to time off work while recovering. Seriously, if I get shot outside my house, do I get to sue the town I live in for damages? I do feel sorry for him, but it is not Crossroads Plaza's fault. Sounds like he is down on his luck now and is trying to score off deeper pockets.

  • squirrelsunlimited Feb 11, 2010

    "Huether is seeking at least $10,000..."

    That's not much of a settlement. Must not be doing it for the $.

  • lizard Feb 11, 2010

    There's more danger driving to and from work. The traffic situation is laudable.

    Why doesn't he sue the man that shot him? Oh wait! He hasn't been caught yet. Probably because of a useless witness description and lack of awareness.

  • archmaker Feb 11, 2010

    first, crossroads isn't a mall and 'industry standards' suggests rules, which there aren't any.

    quoting the number of times police have come out to crossroads? wow, does that include when they help someone with a flat tire or is that just the number of times someone is shot with a gun? way to go to make it sound worse as possible!

    second, diminished wages? you worked at a ham store.

    i admit the last one was mean and i felt sorry for the guy when i read the story when he was first shot, but this is a desparate money act and i wouldn't give him a dime (but they will probably settle...)

  • Guy Feb 11, 2010

    It was really low down that he was fired by Honey Baked Hams. There is no reason other than greed. Is that what you get for being a loyal employee ?

  • wspmom Feb 11, 2010

    Yeah, this is ridiculous. You're closing a store late at night- any right-minded person knows you take more precaution, be aware of what's around you, if you don't feel safe, call the police...shees...take some responsibility. It is in NO way the shopping centers' fault.

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