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Corboy & Demetrio Files Lawsuit for Family of Wilmette Uber Driver Killed by Teen

06.26.2017

Corboy & Demetrio has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart, Allied Universal, and Monterrey Security Consultants on behalf of the family of Uber driver Grant T. Nelson of Wilmette, who was killed by 16-year-old Eliza Wasni, a Taft High School student he had just picked up.

The Complaint alleges that Wasni entered the Wal-Mart store located at 3626 Touhy Avenue in Skokie, Illinois, at around 3:00 a.m. on May 30, 2017.  While in the store, Eliza Wasni took a machete and a knife from their display.  She did not pay for either item and exited the only door available, holding the knife in one hand and the machete in her other hand.  Standing at the exit within 10 to 15 feet of where Ms. Wasni walked was a contracted employee of Allied Universal and a Wal-Mart employee.  The job of the contracted Wal-Mart employee standing at the exit door was to monitor individuals leaving the store for stolen goods.  As Ms. Wasni exited the store with the machete and knife she was not stopped, questioned in any way, or asked to show a receipt.  After exiting the store, Eliza Wasni called for an Uber ride and Grant T. Nelson responded.  After getting into the Uber car, Eliza Wasni proceeded to murder Grant T. Nelson with the stolen goods.

In addition to Wal-Mart, the lawsuit names as defendants Allied Universal, which provided an employee stationed at the exit whose job included monitoring individuals leaving the store, and Monterrey Security Consultants, which provided on-site security staff.  The lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart, Allied Universal and Monterrey were negligent through their agents because they failed to follow their own policies with regard to checking individuals exiting the store for receipts; they allowed Wasni unfettered access to dangerous items; and they failed to adequately monitor Wasni as she walked through the store and exited.

Corboy & Demetrio partner Robert J. Bingle said, “Grant Nelson was a wonderful son and brother, and a caring and giving friend to many.  His enthusiasm for life was contagious to everybody he met.  We believe that at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, it was very obvious that this young girl with a machete in one hand and a knife in the other hand, with no receipt, was not going to do anything good.  And, if Wal-Mart and its agents had simply followed their own procedures, this terrible tragedy would have been avoided.”

Christina Nelson, the mother of Grant Nelson and Special Administrator of his estate said, “We are devastated by the loss of Grant and continue to grieve.  We hope this lawsuit will effectuate a review of store procedures and a realization that not following policies can have tragic consequences.”

Case Info: Nelson v. Wal-Mart Stores et al. filed in Cook County Circuit Court on 6-26-17, Case #17L6408

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