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Prank Victim Sues Home Depot

Fairfax County police officers keep watch on on top of the Home Depot parking lot where a ninth victim was shot Monday night, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002, in Falls Church, Va.
AP
Home Depot has found itself in a sticky situation, defending a lawsuit filed by a man who claims the chain's Louisville store ignored his cries for help after he fell victim to a prank.

Bob Dougherty, 57, of Nederland, said he became stuck to a bathroom toilet seat on which somebody had smeared glue on Oct. 30, 2003, and felt "tremendous panic" when he realized he was stuck.

"They left me there, going through all that stress," Dougherty told The (Boulder) Daily Camera. "They just let me rot."

His lawsuit, filed Friday in Boulder County District Court, said Dougherty was recovering from heart bypass surgery at the time and thought he was having a heart attack. A store employee who heard him calling for help informed the head clerk via radio, but the head clerk "believed it to be a hoax," the lawsuit said.

There was no phone listing for Dougherty in Nederland, a mountain town west of Boulder, and calls to the office of his attorney, Mark Cohen, were not answered.

Home Depot spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said she could not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit said after about 15 minutes, store officials called for an ambulance. Paramedics unbolted the toilet seat, and while wheeling a "frightened and humiliated" Dougherty out of the store, he passed out.

The lawsuit said the toilet seat separated from his skin, leaving abrasions.

"This is not Home Depot's fault," he said. "But I am blaming them for letting me hang in there and just ignoring me."