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Elderly Man Gets $290,000 Settlement

May 21, 1999|(Associated Press)

A 72-year-old man allegedly beaten by supermarket security guards who mistakenly thought he had shoplifted two packs of cigarettes will get $290,000 in a settlement with Safeway Stores and the security company. The settlement between Richard Joy Clay, Safeway and Monument Security was reached shortly before Clay's case was to go to trial Wednesday. Neither company admitted any wrongdoing. Clay was confronted last fall by two Monument security guards as he walked outside the Santa Rosa, Calif., supermarket after buying the cigarettes. The retired carpenter had put the receipt in his wallet. He claimed the guards called him a thief, threw him to the ground and jumped on him with their knees, breaking five of his ribs. He said he was handcuffed and dragged back into the store, where a cashier told the guards they had made a mistake. "When it was all said and done, a poor old man got the heck beaten out of him," said Doug Bosco, Clay's lawyer. One of the guards was fired and is awaiting trial on assault and elderly abuse charges. Charges against the second guard were dismissed.

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