06/22/04 — Mother of slain Chek 'n Go employee suing company officials

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Mother of slain Chek 'n Go employee suing company officials

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 22, 2004 2:02 PM

A woman whose daughter was murdered in a check-cashing store in Goldsboro is suing the store's corporate office and the victim's supervisor for more than $10,000.

Joyce Kornegay, who is administering the estate of her daughter, Latisha Kornegay, filed the lawsuit against the corporate defendants. They are listed as 409 Group Inc., CNG Financial Corp., Check 'n Go of North Carolina and Check 'n Go of Ohio, and Betty Johnson, the supervisor.

Latisha Kornegay, 25, of 1100 N. Jefferson Ave. was murdered on the morning of Nov. 2, 2002, at the Check 'n Go store at 508 N. Spence Ave.

Police have speculated that the murder occurred between 9:30 a.m., the store's normal opening time, and 11:05 a.m., when her body was found by a regular customer.

No one has been arrested. Rewards of more than $25,000 have been offered by the Check 'n Go corporate office in Mason, Ohio, and Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Mrs. Kornegay, of Dudley, contends that the company did not provide enough security in the business where her daughter worked and that Ms. Johnson was willfully negligent in scheduling her to handle money alone on a Saturday in a high-crime area.

Ms. Kornegay, the mother of two small children, worked at the store from January, 2002, until her death.

The suit alleges that she handled large amounts of money and the company and Ms. Johnson should have known that she -- and other employees -- "were exposed to a great risk of violent crime." The suit also says that suspicious-looking people frequently cased the business or loitered near it, especially on Saturdays.

The company, the suit alleges, had "a direct and independent duty to the decedent to take reasonable measures to protect her from criminal acts of third parties." But the company failed to do so by not installing protective glass or surveillance cameras and by not giving pagers or cell phones to the employees.

Check 'n Go operates more than 900 similar stores in 29 states, the suit says. Mrs. Kornegay's lawyers, O. William Faison and Mark R. McGrath of Durham, also contend that between 1998 and 2002, seven other Check 'n Go stores were robbed and another robbery was staged in 2000 at a store in Gastonia.

The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial. The defendants have not answered the lawsuit yet.