T.J. Maxx Cleared of Liability for Upskirting

Siouxsie wasn’t overly familiar with the term upskirting before reading about this case.  It is an odd use of a gerund.  But apparently it is accepted usage, although not found in the GMAU3.  Upskirting, for those who don’t know, is the surreptitious photographing of underneath a woman’s skirt.

As reported in the Watertown Daily Times,

A New York jury found that even though T.J. Maxx knew that there was a upskirter in their store, it was not liable for failing to prevent him from upskirting Svetlana Van Buren, one of its customers.

Van Buren was shopping for coffee when Jeremiah L. Williams upskirted her.  She did not know that she had been the victim of this crime until store security approached her and told her.

Apparently T.J. Maxx was well aware that Williams was trying to upskirt women at the store that day.  But instead of banning him from the store or warning customers, T.J. Maxx decided to try to catch Williams in the act.

Van Buren alleged that the company was negligent when its store security failed to intervene while the weirdo took pictures up her skirt.

Security videotaped Williams taking a photo up the skirt of an unidentified woman and immediately called police.  While officers were en route, he saw him approach Van Buren and also “upskirt” her.


[Van Buren] said that rather than use a customer without her consent to catch Mr. Williams, the store should have used a female police officer or investigator to set a trap for him. He claimed that, at minimum, [security] should have approached Ms. Van Buren and cautioned her about Mr. Williams, or inserted himself between her and the suspect.

Van Buren claimed that because T.J. Maxx knew what Williams was doing, T.J. Maxx owed a duty to warn customers, and not use them as bait.

This is a portrait of the eighth POTUS, Martin Van Buren. Apparently, President Van Buren is no relation to the victim.

The jury disagreed and found that T.J. Maxx was not negligent in its actions.

Siouxsie is going to have to side with Van Buren on this one.    While it is admirable that T.J. Maxx wanted to catch this guy in the act so he could be prosecuted, it simply is not cool to use an unsuspecting customer as the lure.

In any event, this case brings up a broader, more important issue to women — how can you avoid becoming a victim of upskirting?

Siouxsie doesn’t really know the answer to this question especially since there is absolutely no description as to how the upskirting occurred here. Seriously, how does one get upskirted while shopping for coffee?  Who knew that T.J. Maxx even sold coffee?  In this case, Van Buren wasn’t climbing any stairs or riding an escalator.  Nor was she getting out of limo.

But here is some advice.

Be sure to wear undergarments that you can be proud of.

If you need help, here is a good place to start:  Obey My Demand found via Haute Macabre.

Lustworthy lingerie that begs to be worn outside your clothes.”  If that isn’t your taste, you could always go with Sex and the City and celebrity favorite, La Perla.

The T.J. Maxx story has a somewhat happy ending, Jeremiah L. Williams was convicted of violating a New York law that prohibits “upskirting” and sentenced to two to four years in prison.  So, kudos to the prosecution and cops for putting this guy away.

As for T.J. Maxx, they have to live with their slogan “You get the maxx for the minimum at T.J. Maxx.”  At T.J. Maxx you can get the maxx abuse for the minimum recovery.

Tiny top hat tip to Francie S.


~ by siouxsielaw on March 13, 2010.

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