Family of slain New York bodega attacker plans to sue business in Jose Alba case

The family of the man who was killed after assaulting Manhattan bodega worker Jose Alba have reached legal counsel – and told the store they plan to sue over the fatal incident, The Post has learned.

David Simon – whose brother Austin Simon was stabbed by Alba in self-defense on July 1 – has hired a lawyer as he prepares to file a lawsuit against the Blue Moon supermarket in Hamilton Heights.

“We intend to pursue a claim for damages for the injuries sustained by our client,” David’s attorney, Kathleen Beatty, wrote in an Aug. 22 letter to the store obtained by The Post on Tuesday.

Austin, 35, was killed “for negligence relating to property, security, hiring employees, retaining employees, training employees and managing your premises,” the letter said.

Videograb - Bodega Stings - Jose Alba, Austin Simon
The family of Austin Simon – who was killed in self-defense by bodega worker Jose Alba – plans to sue the Manhattan store.

Beatty instructed the bodega to “preserve” evidence, including surveillance video, witness information and incident reports. She also asked for information about the store’s insurance coverage.

But Francisco Marte, the head of a bodega association that has been helping Alba, claims Blue Moon Convenience wasn’t insured at the time of the incident – so there’s no money to take care of it.

“The family is just pushing to see if they can get money from the shopkeeper,” Marte told the Post. “This is a shakedown.”

Surveillance video from inside the Friday night "Hamilton Heights grocery store at 139th Broadway Newar W. St. Bodega worker Jose Alba, 51, is seen stabbing Austin Simon, 37, in the neck and chest, killing him after an argument over a bag of chips.
Surveillance video from the night leading to Austin Simon’s death.

The owner has since insured Blue Moon, Marte said, but “he’s afraid it might wipe him out.” All the money he had he used to fix the shop.”

“He put everything in,” said Marte. “He even borrowed money. He owes money right now.”

And Alba — who Manhattan prosecutors dropped the murder charge in July — is afraid he too will be sued, Marte said.

“If they can sue the place, they’ll come after it [Alba] too,” Marte said. “He’s very, very worried about it because he doesn’t have any money – so he’s holding back.”

Austin-Simon
Alba spent nearly a week on Rikers Island for the murder of Simon (above) before the prosecutor’s office dropped the case.
no credit

And while they hope no lawsuit is filed, Marte, head of the Bodega and Small Business Association, said, “I don’t think a jury will rule in their favor because it was self-defense.”

The 61-year-old salesman was jailed on Rikers Island on $250,000 bail for almost a week before bail was reduced – amid allegations of murdering Simon, an ex-convict.

But after widespread backlash amid video footage showing Simon attacking Alba first, the prosecutor’s office dropped the case on July 19, citing insufficient evidence.

Footage of the attack in the bodega
Bodega association leader Francisco Marte says the store had no insurance at the time of the incident.

In early August, Alba resigned and planned to return to the Dominican Republic, where he is from, the owner told The Post at the time.

Beatty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/20/family-of-man-killed-by-bodega-clerk-plans-to-sue-the-store/ Family of slain New York bodega attacker plans to sue business in Jose Alba case

JACLYN DIAZ

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