Man glued to toilet seat, sues store (external - login to view)
Fri Nov 4, 2005
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Colorado man who had a panic attack when he found he was glued to a toilet seat in a Home Depot restroom has sued the home improvement giant for negligence, saying staff ignored his plight.
Retired electrical engineer Bob Dougherty, 57, said on Thursday he was stuck in the stall with his pants down for about 20 minutes and that two years after the 2003 incident he was suffering from post-traumatic stress, which has triggered diabetes and heart complications.
"I have these nightmares every night where I am locked in this dark room, with no windows, no doors, no fresh air, no route for escape. I wake up in these cold sweats," Dougherty said.
Spokesmen for Home Depot Inc. could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dougherty said in a lawsuit filed last week in Boulder, Colorado, that he thought he was having a heart attack when he realized his buttocks and legs were stuck to the toilet seat in the Home Depot restroom in Louisville, Colorado.
He explained his plight to an employee who came into the restroom but other Home Depot staffers thought it was a hoax and he had to wait until someone else came in to again summon help.
Dougherty is claiming unspecified damages for help with medical and psychiatric bills, for humiliation and for the diabetes he said he has developed as a result of the stress.
"Home Depot not only ignored my plight, they refused my plight," he said. Dougherty said he suspected the glue had been placed there as a prank by three teens seen earlier in the store.
My first question is, for what reason was the glue on the toilet seat? If it was initiated for some purpose (such as a repair) by the management, my next question is, was there not a warning posted to avoid using that stall? If management did cause the glue to be placed there, but did not have a warning placed, it is in error.
If it ordered both work and sign, but the workman forgot, then the workman should be penalized.
Finally, if it was the work of “the three teenagers seen earlier in the store” I fail to see why the company should be held liable for his victimization by someone else’s prank.
In the case of the employees who did not respond to a request for aid, they should at least be penalized, possibly even fired. They have not adequately learned the axiom, "The customer is always right," or at least, always presumed to be serious.
As for the customer, I am unaware, and do not believe, that diabetes or a heart condition can be contracted from a toilet seat — not even one with unset glue. Other than a possible loss of epidermis when finally pried off the seat, I do not believe much physical damage was done to the man.
As for psychiatric damage, if such damage could be done him through this experience, I believe he owes the company a vote of thanks for being instrumental in discovering his frailty under such benign conditions. How much worse would it have been, had he been inspecting firearms in WalMart’s sporting goods department when his instability manifested itself?
As for his claims of humiliation, I strongly suggest that he has greatly damaged my belief in its severity, by the fact that he has gone public with details of his humiliating experience.
If the worst thing that ever happens to Bob Dougherty is that he is doomed to spend twenty minutes in a public rest room with his **** stuck to a toilet seat, his will be a most charmed life.