Court OKs lawsuit against firm

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, August 1, 2003

MUNCIE, Ind. - Nearly six years after a liquor store clerk was abducted and killed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that his family can file a lawsuit against Tri-Etch Inc., which sold and monitored the store’s security system.

The filing reverses a previous decision by a lower court in favor of the alarm company.

The family of Michael Young, the Muncie Liquors clerk who was beaten to death in August 1997, filed a lawsuit against Tri-Etch, which does business in Indiana as Sonitrol Security Systems in 1999.

That lawsuit was dismissed by the Delaware (Ind.) Circuit Court, which ruled that a stipulation in Tri-Etch’s contract required complaints against the company to be brought within one year of any incident.

The lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of Sonitrol Security Systems, which installed an alarm system at Muncie Liquors and was responsible for monitoring when the alarm was activated.

Sonitrol normally notified the store’s manager if the alarm was not activated within 30 minutes of its midnight closing. On the night that Young was abducted, the company did not notify anyone that the alarm had not been set until 3 a.m., according to The Star Press.

Officials from Sonitrol and Tri-Etch declined comment.