A valet at a Boston hospital who was shot in the eye by police as officers confronted a man armed with what they thought was a real gun has sued his employer, saying the hospital’s security staff mishandled this situation.
Justin Desmarais, a valet at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was doing his job on Feb. 7, 2020, when he ended up with a gunshot wound to the head and right eye that left bullet fragments in his brain, according to the suit filed last month in Suffolk Superior Court, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
The events were set in motion by Juston Root, who was armed with a paintball gun.
When hospital security first interacted with Root, he was nonsensical, the lawsuit said. When Root showed his paintball gun, security bungled their response, mischaracterized the threat when they summoned police, and escalated matters while waiting for officers to arrive, the lawsuit said.
A spokesperson said Brigham and Women’s Hospital does not comment on pending litigation.
The suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Root, who had a history of mental health issues according to his family, fled the area in a car and was fatally shot by police a few miles away.