Jury hung in lawsuit against alarm company

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, April 22, 2004

April 22, 2004

MUNCIE, Ind. - Earlier this month, a judge here has declared a mistrial in a case to determine whether an alarm company was responsible in the death of a murdered liquor store clerk.
On April 8, after 10 hours of deliberation, the jury in the lawsuit could not reach a verdict, so Judge Marianne Vorhees declared a mistrial in the trial against Tri-Etch Inc., which does business locally as Sonitrol Security Systems.
In July 2003, nearly six years after Muncie Liquor Store clerk Michael Young was abducted and murdered, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Young’s family could file a civil lawsuit against Tri-Etch, which sold and monitored the store’s security system.
The family’s lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of Sonitrol Security, which ordinarily notified the store’s manager if the alarm wasn’t activated within 30 minutes of the store’s closing. On the night Young was abducted, Sonitrol Security didn’t notify anyone that the alarm hadn’t been set until 3 a.m.
Young’s family had sought $1.83 million, claiming that had the company notified the store’s manager earlier, police would have been notified immediately and they would have found Young in time to revive him.
After listening to four days of testimony in the case, the jury could not reach a verdict. Jury members told the (Muncie) Pioneer Press that two jury members didn’t believe the company was responsible, and the other four believed the alarm company was, at most, 10 percent responsible.
Attorneys for Young’s family said no decision had been made on whether to re-file the lawsuit.