Labor & Employment

Home Depot sued over off-site slaying of pregnant woman by her supervisor

The mother of a pregnant young woman beaten and strangled to death by her work supervisor during an off-site trip to attend his sister’s wedding has filed a civil wrongful death complaint against two companies that allegedly had a role in supervising the now-convicted murderer, Brian M. Cooper, 37.

Filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the Illinois suit says Alisha Bromfield met Cooper in 2006 when she was a teenager working in the Chicago area for a company that supplied flowers to various Home Depot locations, Courthouse News reports. Cooper was Bromfield’s supervisor at Grand Flower Growers, and Home Depot was responsible for safety at the stores in which she worked, the suit says.

Bromfield complained to Grand Flower Growers about Cooper’s conduct and his alleged use of work time to suggest an intimate relationship, the suit says. Meanwhile, Home Depot should have known that “Cooper would publicly decry Alisha as a ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ and had been known to throw items at employees,” the suit contends. However, no action was taken to “investigate, monitor, limit or control Brian Cooper in his interactions with Alisha,” and those in charge may actually have cooperated with Cooper “in arranging for Cooper to be alone with Alisha to facilitate his continuing pattern of abuse,” alleges plaintiff Sherry Anicich.

In 2012, after Bromfield, then 21 years old, became pregnant with another man’s child, Cooper persuaded her to accompany him on a trip to Wisconsin to attend his sister’s wedding and meet his relatives. He had reportedly been drinking. That evening in a resort hotel room after she refused to consider a permanent relationship with him, Cooper physically assaulted her. He strangled her to death and raped her corpse, according to the suit and news reports of Cooper’s sentencing in Door County, Wisconsin.

The Door County Advocate and the Chicago Tribune have stories about the two life terms to which Cooper was sentenced last month for killing Bromfield and her unborn daughter.

Anicich is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the wrongful death suit.

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