HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Attorneys for JCPenney state it was the responsibility of Myrtle Beach Mall’s owners to provide adequate security in its parking lot after the chain store was named in a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman killed at the mall in 2016.
Recently, the family of 78-year-old Frances “Mae” Davis added JCPenney to its suit, which also includes the mall; Universal Protection Service, LLC; and Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc. They claim adequate security was not provided.
In its answer, JCPenney made a cross-claim against Myrtle Beach Mall, stating the store entered into a lease agreement with the mall in 1984.
That agreement reportedly stated that the parking areas were “not part of the premises demised to JCPenney but instead defined as ‘Common Facilities.’”
“The Lease section entitled ‘MAINTENANCE OF ENCLOSED MALL, PARKING AND OTHER COMMON FACILITIES,’ states in pertinent part that ‘Landlord shall at all times during the term of this lease maintain and keep the Common Facilities in good order and repair and in a safe, clean, slightly, and sanitary condition,” court documents state.
Attorneys for JCPenney state that if the family’s allegations of the mall failing to provide adequate security in the parking lot is proven to be true, then Myrtle Beach Mall will have exposed the store to liability “as a result of its negligence, gross negligence, and all other wrongful conduct.”
In its response, the mall’s attorneys are asking that JCPenney’s cross-claims be dismissed with prejudice.
“J.C. Penney’s (sic) Crossclaims are barred by the doctrines of waiver, estoppel and/or unclean hands,” court records state.
Davis was killed in the parking lot of the Myrtle Beach Mall in January 2016, a day before her 79th birthday.
No arrest has ever been made and her death is now considered a cold case.