The daughter of a man who died after he was allegedly assaulted by two security guards at a Melbourne Bunnings is suing the retail chain for “injury, loss and damage”.
Anthony James Georgiou, 31, was wrestled to the ground and placed into a headlock by security contractors at a Frankston Bunnings in September 2016.
Georgiou had stolen a gas cylinder and saw blade, and loss prevention officers Abdul Habib Brenzai and George Oyee were trying to stop him getting away.
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Georgiou cried for help and gasped for air however Brenzai and Oyee allegedly continued to restrain him. He became unconscious and was taken to hospital, where he died just hours later.
Georgiou’s daughter, who has not been named because of her age, is now suing both the security officers, their employer and Bunnings Warehouse for the “psychological injury, shock and financial loss” caused by her father’s death.
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Slater and Gordon Lawyers has filed a statement of claim in the Victorian Country Court alleging the two officers “failed to exercise reasonable care or ensure the safety of Mr Georgiou by refusing to let him leave the store on the day”.
Brenzai and Oyee have been accused of engaging in a “prolonged assault” and using excessive pressure on Georgiou’s neck.
The legal document states their conduct was “intentional, reckless and/or negligent”.
New Security Solutions Group, the security guard’s employer, has been accused of failing to properly train or supervise Brenzai and Oyee.
Retail giant Bunnings is being accused of failing to provide the guards and their employer with their company code of conduct “so they were aware of their obligations in relation to, among other things, detaining anyone on the premises”.
Slater and Gordon public liability lawyer Neha Pratap said dependents of a person who had died due to the negligence of others were entitled to compensation.
“My client, through her litigation guardian, is exercising her legal rights to compensation following father’s death, which we say was avoidable,” she said.
Last year a Victorian coroner found Georgiou’s death would not have occurred if he was not restrained by the contractors at Bunnings.
“There seems little doubt that, had Georgiou not been involved in the struggle … he would have walked away from Bunnings that day,” coroner Darren Bracken said.
Georgiou’s family said their “lives have been forever altered” by his death.
“We wish those responsible could understand the profound impact their action or inaction has had,” they said.
“Most affected is Anthony’s daughter, who has lost the joy and security that her father provided. She now lives with a constant void in her heart.”
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