We have previously followed employees fired or denied benefits for resisting robberies, even when coming to the aid of customers. In the case of Jeremy Hoven, the pharmacist says he was fired by Walgreens after he foiled a late-night robbery in Michigan. He has now filed a wrongful termination lawsuit and Walgreens’ answer to the complaint has an interesting reported twist.
(Reuters) – A pharmacist fired by the nation’s largest drugstore chain after he foiled a late-night armed robbery of his Michigan store by shooting at the gunmen has sued Walgreens for wrongful termination.
Hoven says two masked gunmen entered the store in Benton Harbor, Michigan, before dawn and he tried to call 911. However, one of the gunmen — holding another Walgreens co-worker at gunpoint — jumped over the pharmacy counter, reportedly pointed his weapon at Hoven. Hoven say that he saw the man begin “jerking the gun’s trigger.” Armed with a licensed concealed gun, Hoven drew and fired shots at the robbers who fled.
He says that, a week later, he was fired for violating Walgreens’ “non-escalation policy” as well as a policy barring employees from carrying weapons while they work.
Hoven’s counsel has pointed to the below video of the incident showing an armed man dragging an employee through the store and then hopping over the pharmacy counter.
While it is common for lawyers to deny every fact in a complaint, you are not supposed to deny facts known to be true. The notes to Rule 11 state in part:
Denials of factual contentions involve somewhat different considerations. Often, of course, a denial is premised upon the existence of evidence contradicting the alleged fact. At other times a denial is permissible because, after an appropriate investigation, a party has no information concerning the matter or, indeed, has a reasonable basis for doubting the credibility of the only evidence relevant to the matter. A party should not deny an allegation it knows to be true; but it is not required, simply because it lacks contradictory evidence, to admit an allegation that it believes is not true.
It is not clear if this was a general denial or a specific denial in the answer.
Here is the video of the denied robbery:
Walgreens also denies that Hoven’s actions were the reason for his termination.