Seizures Return After Man’s Scuffle With Mall Security

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     WAILUKU, Hawaii (CN) — A young man afflicted by a rare neurological disease says an unnecessary run-in with a mall security guard triggered a relapse of his condition.
     Jadon Costa says in a complaint filed in a Maui state court that he suffers from seizures and speech aphasia associated with Landau-Kleffner syndrome. He was out with his grandfather, with whom he spends weekends and works, for dinner and a movie at the Maui Mall this past January. After dinner, Jadon — then 20 — says he stopped at a Long’s Drugs to look for a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend.
     Jadon’s life had been on an upswing recently owing to a fortuitous accident worthy of a Hollywood screenplay: Something of a mechanical savant, Jadon was attempting to fix a clothes dryer when he suffered an electric shock and went into cardiac arrest.
     He recovered from the incident and found that he was completely free of seizures, and his other conditions — a profound impairment of language ability and a tendency to lapse into his own thoughts — began to greatly improve, according to the complaint.
     “Whereas Jadon used to struggle to utter even the simplest words, after the electrocution [sic] ‘his words just came flowing out,'” Jadon says in his complaint.
     Jadon says he even dared to dream of holding down a full-time job, of branching out from his grandfather’s vegetable stand and part-time groundskeeping — a modest life on Maui’s north shore.
     According to his complaint, Jadon was browsing in the Valentine’s Day gift aisle when a female Long’s employee, indentified in the complaint as defendant Jane Doe 1, approached Jadon to ask if he needed assistance.
     When he said no, Jane Doe accused him of being drunk and of stealing. Shortly after, she returned with two mall security guards, Jadon says in the complaint.
     One security guard recognized Jadon and vouched for his character. But the second security guard, defendant John Doe 1, inexplicably ignored his colleague and began to question Jadon in a “hostile and confusing” manner, Jadon says in the complaint.
     When Jadon explained that he only had tissues in his pockets, John Doe threatened to put Jadon in handcuffs.
     Like many epileptics who live their lives on the verge of uncontrollable, full-body convulsions, the thought of being restrained terrified Jadon.
     Jadon says that John Doe then pinned his arms behind his back and began going through his pockets. Jadon began crying out “Me no steal! Me no steal!” while Jane Doe mimicked him “in a public display of cruelty and childish mockery,” according to the complaint.
     John Doe found nothing on Jadon and released him. Jadon walked out of the store and telephoned his mother, Grace Shim, who was unable to understand what her son was saying. Within hours of the incident, Jadon had his first seizure in 15 months and suffered three consecutive grand mal seizures the following morning, Jadon says in his complaint.
     Over the next three months he had a seizure every week, and his other symptoms returned in full force. Jadon’s doctor, pediatric neurologist Dr. Ronald M. Baum, reported this past April that “Paroxysmal activity is present. Clearly the patient had a change in the excellent trajectory that he was following prior to the event and now is moving toward but has not yet reached his previous baseline,” according to the complaint.
     Jadon says that the run-in in Longs — also a defendant in the case — has left him damaged.
     “Prior to walking into Longs, Jadon had made real and substantial progress in living a meaningful and functional life,” the complaint says. “He was free of seizures and doing what he loved and that which her excelled.”
     And also according to the complaint: “His trust has also been broken. Jadon had not been teased or bullied by an adult before this incident. Security guards and adults had always been his protectors and friends when he was in school. He is now fearful of security guards and entering stores.”
     Jadon and his legal guardian, Grace Shim, are represented by Matson Kelley and Alex Wilkins. In a phone call, Kelley said the family is “very concerned about the actions of the security guards and want to prevent that kind of situation from ever occurring again.”
     They are suing for disability discrimination, false arrest, battery, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence. They seek general, special and punitive damages.
     Other named defendants include Universal Protection Service, Lipt East Kaahumanu Avenue and Festival Management.
     None of the defendants returned requests for comment by press time.