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Shooting victim's family sues Publix

8:24 PM, Jun 1, 2010   |    comments
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Greg and Elizabeth Janowski

TAMPA, Florida--High profile Tampa attorney Barry Cohen is suing Publix Supermarkets on behalf of the family of Greg Janowski. Janowski, who was a meat cutte, at Publix, was shot and killed by Arunya Rouch after she was fired from the chain.

Police says Rouch shot and killed Janowski because she believed he was responsible for her getting fired.

Animosity between Janowski and Rouch began after he reported the woman for allegedly working off the books in order to impress management. In truth, Rouch was authorized to work overtime at the Tarpon Spring store, but Janowski didn't know that and reported her as was required by Publix policy.

According to the lawsuit, in late March, another employee saw Rouch scratching Janowski's name off the next week's work schedule. The lawsuit says when Rouch was asked why she did that, a witness says the woman exclaimed because, "he is dead. I killed him."

The lawsuit says when Janowski complained about the threats to Publix's managers, they told him the company would handle the situation, but it never did.

The lawsuit says Publix should have set up some employee counseling or intervention for Rouch, but it never did. When the company fired the woman on March 30th she made several threats to kill Janowski but, according to the suit, the company did nothing to warn him or notify Rouch's husband, also a Publix employee, that his wife had been fired.

In addition, the allegations are that Publix did nothing to calm down the woman, who was emotionally distraught after being fired.

Police say after being fired, Rouch went home, got a 9mm gun, came back to the parking lot of the store to wait for Janowski prior to his shift starting and then shot him.

Cohen also says if Publix management had looked into Rouch's background they would have found a website where she is seen shooting a gun on a firing range with the caption, "Don't mess with this little Thai girl."

While Cohen says he has enough evidence to prove Publix could have prevented Janowski's death, he will have to overcome what's called worker's comp immunity. Cohen says he believes that immunity is unconstitutional.

Publix says it does not comment on ongoing litigation. 

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