The city of Gainesville contends it cannot be held liable for the alleged racial slurs from a former trash collector to his neighbor, according to court documents.
Gregory and Sophia Bonds filed a lawsuit against neighbor Roy Hubert Turner Jr. in Hall County court, claiming Turner threatened the family and used racial epithets “every time he encountered them.”
Sophia Bonds is an employee of The Times.
Turner is a former trash collector for the city of Gainesville, and the family claimed the city failed to address the situation after multiple complaints.
“The city’s actual and constructive knowledge of Turner’s actions, many of which occurred while he was employed as a sanitation worker for the city, coupled with its failure to intercede on plaintiffs’ behalf after being informed about Turner’s actions, served to condone, adopt, ratify and facilitate Turner’s actions,” the suit states. “The city’s refusal to discipline Turner or take reasonable and appropriate remedial actions to prevent his unlawful conduct toward plaintiffs make (the city) jointly liable ...”
The city of Gainesville filed its response on Sept. 25, claiming the majority of the incidents alleged in the Bonds’ lawsuit occurred outside of his work.
“The allegations as to Turner are undoubtedly disturbing,” the city said, according to court filings. “Gainesville denies, however, that it is legally responsible for Turner’s purported conduct.”
The city claims it cannot be held liable “because it was wholly outside the course and scope of his employment.”
The lawsuit includes allegations that Turner used racial epithets when working on the city garbage truck and when off-duty.
The case has been moved to U.S. District Court, and the suit seeks financial damages and a jury trial.