Mother of store worker killed in robbery files wrongful death lawsuit against convenience store

SAN ANTONIO — Nearly two years after a store clerk was fatally shot in a Garden Ridge convenience store robbery, her mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her daughter’s employer for ” several security gaps”.

Pollyanna Smotherman, 40, of Cibolo, was killed in the early morning hours of July 29, 2020, after a man entered the store with a gun, shot her and robbed her of an undisclosed amount money and lottery tickets. The man then fled, police said.

The crime happened around 3 a.m. at the EZ Mart in the 19500 block of FM 3009.

The civil lawsuit, filed March 22 by Virginia Smotherman on behalf of Pollyanna Smotherman’s estate, alleges this is not the first time an EZ Mart employee has died in a workplace incident. Following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the lawsuit documents claim that EZ Mart had “several notable safety deficiencies.”

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According to the lawsuit documents, the security flaws include:

  • Insufficient outdoor lighting

  • Absence of physical barrier with passage windows

  • Failure to have proper policy and training

  • No documented security-related site inspections

  • Failure to have signs on entrance doors indicating low cash in registers

  • Failure to have height markers on entrance doors that identify the height of criminals or suspects

The civil lawsuit also alleges that the convenience store failed to provide Pollyanna with workers’ compensation benefits, leading her mother to sue for wrongful death benefits.

Virginia hopes for justice and “to prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future,” the lawsuit states. She is asking for over a million dollars in relief.

At last checks, no arrests have been made in connection with Pollyanna’s death. The suspect is described as a man in his 20s and 30s and was wearing a black shirt, dark pants and a red bandana over his face at the time of the crime, police said. He was also carrying a tote bag.

Comal County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest or conviction.

Anyone with information can call the Garden Ridge Police Department at 210-651-6441 or Comal County Crime Stoppers at 830-620-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be left online at http://comalcrimestoppers.org/ or through the “P3 Tips” smartphone app available on iOS and Android devices.

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The robbery took place at 3 a.m. Wednesday at the EZ Mart in the 19500 block of FM 3009.

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