Smoke shop employee remains unpaid after being shot on first day of job

in Local Courts by

Talk about a bad first day on the job.

The victim of an attempted armed robbery is suing his ex-employer after suffering a gunshot wound just one day after starting his job at Tony’s Smoke Shop.

Nicanor Soler, 41, began working for the shop on Sept. 14, 2015. On the next day, an attempted robbery took place at the store around 9:09 p.m.

A robber shot Soler in the upper body, severely injuring him. As a result of the event, Soler suffered physical and emotional trauma.

The smoke shop was located in a strip mall on W. Waters Avenue in Tampa,  a historically high-crime area. Soler claims that the robbery wouldn’t have happened if owners Ahmad and Samer Aldabesheh took precautions.

The store had little to no safety equipment on the property, a broken surveillance system, and no cash management policy. Obstructions, like posters and signs, blocked the windows, making it hard to see in and out of the store.

Both Ahmad and Samer had a legal duty to create safe conditions for their workers, Soler says. They breached this obligation when they failed to provide safety tools or training to employees.

After the incident, Soler waited for his pay for the 24 hours worked. He never received the pay, even after making demands for it.

As for employee compensation, Ahmad and Samer were the sole decision makers.

Soler is suing Ahmad, Samer, and the smoke shop for negligence, minimum wage violation and unpaid wages, according to the suit.

The civil complaint was filed Oct. 6, 2016. Neither Aldabesheh’s or the smoke shop have responded.

Soler is requesting compensation for medical bills, wages unpaid, attorney’s fees and any other compensation deemed necessary by the courts.

The suspect in the shooting – who has not been caught — was described by police as a Hispanic male, roughly 150 pounds, 5 foot-8. A $3,000 reward was put out by Crime Stoppers for any information that could lead to the arrest.

Tony’s Smoke Shop is no longer in business.

The smoke shop sold groceries, tobacco and tobacco smoking products. It was open until or past 9 p.m. every night; there were large amounts of cash in the register due to a lack of a cash management policy.