Wrongful Death Case Filed Against Publix for Violent Deaths of Toddler and Grandmother

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (October 19, 2022) – DCW Shareholders, Sean C. Domnick and Gregory M. Yaffa, along with James Graver from The Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., filed a lawsuit today against Publix Supermarkets alleging the company’s failure to provide a safe environment for their customers resulted in the shooting death of 23-month-old Samuel Varone, and his grandmother Litha Varone.

On June 10, 2021, Samuel and Litha Varone were murdered in the produce section of a Publix in Royal Palm Beach, Fla. The shooter first entered Publix at 8:59 am that day, dressed in a black jacket, masked with a bandana, hat pulled low, with a backpack and a golf club.  Prior to leaving, he stood near the exit for three minutes and then loitered in the area for a couple of hours before re-entering the store for the second time that day.  23-month-old Sam Varone was sitting in his grandmother’s shopping cart when he was shot at point blank range. His grandmother, Litha Varone, struggled with the attacker but was shot and killed as well. Witnesses claimed her heroic actions that day saved the lives of other Publix shoppers.

In the joint statement, the Varone family said:

“There is no path that will ever take away the crushing grief that has engulfed our family. Our son was days away from his second birthday. Our mother was the center of our world and was instrumental in the lives of her children and grandchildren. Nothing can ever take away the profound sense of emptiness in our hearts but there is a path that may prevent another family from experiencing this type of anguish. Publix ignored every red flag that placed the safety of their customers in jeopardy. They ignored the need to invest in security and that choice cost us everything.”

In the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Domnick Cunningham & Whalen and The Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., the complaint alleges Publix failed to provide adequate security and automated gun detectors that would have prevented this violent crime.

DCW Shareholder Sean Domnick stated, “This Publix had over 40 criminal incidents in and around the store over a 3-year period. In an age of active shooters, this store chose not to have security despite the multiple gun deaths in their stores in recent years. They failed in their obligation to factor in the safety of the community that serves them, and they must be held accountable.”

The lawsuit will seek a jury trial for damages.

About the Attorneys:

Sean C. Domnick is a successful civil trial lawyer and shareholder in the law firm of Domnick Cunningham & Whalen. He has a statewide and national practice devoted solely to trial work and has dedicated his practice to seeking justice for clients who have suffered catastrophic injury. He is a national leader in the plaintiff’s bar and currently serves as Vice President of the American Association for Justice.

Gregory M. Yaffa is a successful civil trial lawyer at Domnick Cunningham & Whalen with a practice devoted to representing the victims of catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death and insurance company bad faith. He is the 2019 Recipient of the Jon E. Krupnick Award, one of the highest honors an attorney can receive from the Florida plaintiff bar for being a trial lawyer champion.

Mr. Graver is a personal injury trial attorney and the founder of the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A.  His law firm exclusively handles cases on behalf of injured clients in matters involving Wrongful Death, Premises Liability, as well as numerous other types of personal injury claims.

 

Complaint – Varone

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