Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. Secures $2M Verdict Against LA Mart and LPO Security

Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. Secures $2M Verdict Against LA Mart and LPO SecurityPlaxen Adler Muncy P.A. is pleased to report that partners David A. Muncy and Samantha Dos Santos recently secured a $2 million jury verdict on behalf of Makram Megdiche in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Mr. Megdiche was tased at an LA Mart in Columbia, Maryland in 2020 after refusing to remove his mask at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the incident, Megdiche suffered mental and emotional trauma and was forced to take leave from his job as a pharmacist.

Mr. Muncy and Ms. Dos Santos represented Megdiche in his lawsuit against LA Mart and The Bureau LPO & Security Services (LPO). Throughout the litigation, LA Mart and LPO both refused to participate despite being properly served and aware of the pending litigation. At the trial date, neither party appeared, and both made clear that they had no interest in accepting responsibility for the actions of their employees.

The jury had the benefit of watching the attack occur, as Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. had obtained video footage of the incident through a Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) request.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded a $2 million verdict – in less than 30 minutes.

“Samantha did a fantastic job trying the case from start to finish,” said David Muncy. “Mr. Megdiche provided powerful testimony that corroborated the heinous actions of the Defendants’ employee seen on the videos obtained and played at trial. Samantha walked the jury through the evidence in her opening and closing and was able to explain what Mr. Megdiche went through and why this verdict was necessary to hold them accountable.”

About the case

On April 4, 2020, Makram Megdiche was tased in the Columbia LA Mart after he was stopped by a security guard who asked him to remove his mask. Mr. Megdiche was following CDC-recommended guidelines when he entered the shop wearing a mask, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A security guard approached him and demanded he remove his mask, which he lowered to demonstrate that he was a regular customer who stopped in several times a week. However, as he went to check out, the security guard approached him again and advised that LA Mart would not be serving him because he was wearing a mask.

While attempting to leave the store, Megdiche was pursued by the LPO security guard and repeatedly tased, handcuffed, and locked in the backroom of the LA Mart store – despite the fact he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Shortly after the assault, Megdiche, who is Muslim, talked to WUSA 9, telling them:

“I said, ‘Sir, can you keep your social distance please?’ I did not even finish the sentence, and he tased me,” Megdiche said. “It’s an unbearable shock. I’ve never experienced it my whole life. My whole body is shaking up and down on the floor. He forced my hands back, and I was like, ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, I will cooperate with you, I will do what you need.’ I was crying and screaming, and he handcuffed me backward.”

Back in 2020, Mr. Muncy told WUSA 9, “There is absolutely no reason for this to happen. For a security guard to even have a taser is unusual. And to use it on a customer in this manner, to me is outrageous.”

Muslim civil rights organization CAIR stated at the time:

The incident occurred at the time that the media was hinting that CDC was planning to issue guidance for everyone to wear a facemask. Regardless of CDC guidance, this victim is a health care provider who risks coming in contact with infected patients through his line of work. He was wearing the mask to protect others as much as to protect himself.

As we asked back at the start of this case, why did the security guard have a taser at all? Maryland criminal code states that “A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon of any kind concealed on or about the person [and] A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon, chemical mace, pepper mace, or a tear gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.”

The entire team at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. is proud to have helped Mr. Megdiche with his case and are pleased we could obtain some justice on his behalf. Talk to us today about how we can help you with your case – we are pleased to note that all of our attorneys were recently selected to 2024 Maryland Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

For a free consultation with one of our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys, just call one of our multiple offices or fill out our contact form today and a qualified member of our team will be in touch.