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Jeremy Hoven is the pistol-packing pharmacist who used his handgun to drive two gun-wielding robbers from Walgreen’s during an early-morning holdup in December of 2007. Walgreens fired Hoven for violating their “non-escalation” policy. Hoven retaliated by filing a wrongful termination suit against the company. One of our lawyer pals has been following the case. Our man just emailed:

The hearing over’s. The Judge’s court order just appeared. [Click here for a pdf]. He denied Walgreen’s motion for protective order without prejudice. The company cannot suppress the now infamous video [above] of the early morning robbery . . .

Based upon the different motions and responses that there was a huge pissing contest between the lawyers and Walgreen’s moved for sanctions against Hoven’s counsel for violating professional rules (don’t laugh – lawyers do take an oath to act nice) for holding a news conference to release the videotape, etc. . . .

I suspect the judge told them both to chill out. If Hoven’s lawyers start holding more news conferences—polluting the jury pool—the judge may entertain a new motion for gag/protective order.

I will check again in a week to see if a transcript shows up. This is good news. It keeps Walgreens from trying to silence the truth about Hoven’s defensive gun use. Court order or not, a picture is still worth a thousand words.

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  1. I do not, under any circumstances, shop at Walgreens anymore. Whoever it was in their corporate ladder that made the spineless decision to fire the employee is a coward. Furthermore, the corporate leadership (CEO, President, Board) are all cowards for allowing that to happen.

    • Read an article today that said Walgreens is helping footing the bill for some schmoozing of Illinois’ State senators and congressmen by Chicago’s new Mayor. Also their headquarters is in Illinois.

      Given this, Walgreens actions don’t seem too surprising. It seems they right in the middle of gun grabber land, and support elected officials who disregard the second amendment.,0,6904410.story

    • As is your right not to shop at Walgreens.

      But I would not contest Walgreen’s right to establish workplace rules employees must follow.

      Free speech and the right to defend yourself should not be abridged by government.

      Similarly, however, I wouldn’t use government to force a private employer to have to employ someone who exercises of these rights against company policy.

      • Not all company policies are reasonable or enforceable. An employer can’t, for example, prohibit bathroom breaks or observing unobtrusive religious practices (e.g. head covering). Prohibiting an employee from defending themselves against a gun-wielding criminal sounds unreasonable to me. It’s possible for someone engaging in such behavior to do so responsibly or irresponsibly, and it seems this guy was responsible.

      • I’d certainly vote for any law that would strengthen the right to sign into contracts and not have them second guessed by lawyers, but until then Walgreen’s has to abide by the present law, just like everyone else. This was a wrongful termination under the present law.

  2. This man is alive and saved the lives of others by having a firearm on him! Walgreens has the nerve to fire him. What a bunch of losers!

  3. Well it a know fact armed robbers like their victims unarmed. Fact sheet shows that in most cases the robber flee when presented with another gun without any shoots fired. Arm robbers do not like their victims shooting back let alone just having a firearm of their on. So how or those [easy victim err gun free] zones doing for you.

    • Just another quick though if your gonna rob some one who are you gonna rob an easy victim in a gun free zone or where they may or may not be armed in an open zone. I’m thinking gun free zone FTW for the criminal.

  4. Did I understand correctly that Hoven is former pharmacist? Surely to goodness there were some pharmacies in Michigan that would have appreciated having on its staff a man who chose not to be a victim. Did he voulntarily leave pharmacy, or was he frozen out?

  5. (I posted something like this over at Consumerist a while back, but I think it bears repeating here.)

    Walgreens had to fire Mr. Hoven because it cannot afford to screw up the actuarial tables on its Corporate Owned Life Insurance payouts.

    If employees defend themselves instead of simply agreeing to executed peacefully, how can Walgreens keep its Dead Peasant Insurance net income stream in the range of millions of dollars per year?

    According to one of Walgreens’ 8-Ks, it netted six million dollars ($6,000,000) in income collecting on Corporate Owned Life Insurance (AKA Dead Peasant Insurace, AKA Dead Pharmacist Insurance) in FY2007, ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in FY2008, and five million dollars ($5,000,000) in FY2009.

    Get it?

    1) Take out Dead Pharmacist, err, Peasant Insurance on all your employees
    2) Don’t provide security and have rules against employees providing for their own security.
    3) Make money when employees die.

    Of course you have to fire employees who defend their lives — They screw up the bottom line.

  6. Query whether Walgreens will now face potential future liability from having essentially advertised to all robbers that Walgreens is a gun-free zone? Something for a plaintiff’s lawyer to consider when customers and pharmacists are herded into the back room and executed by the next gang of armed robbers.

  7. If Walgreens wants to make their stores gun-free, I can help them with that; I, the owner of a CC permit, will never visit their local store again. Done and done.

  8. I think you’d be singing a different tune if he’d shot two people who were just standing in the street, like the cops did in San Francisco a couple days ago.

    (Of course, I’m sure that no true Scot would accidentally shoot an innocent bystander.)

  9. DensityDuck – I’d be singing a different tune if he did a lot of things. If Space Aliens came down, took his gun and killed a bunch of puppies for instance. Did you see the situation where he took the shots? See a lot of pedestrians standing around? Me neither. What if one of the robbers got nervous and shot and killed him – I’m sure he and his family would have your sincere sympathy but honestly, I don’t think that’ll get them very far. The fact is, he acted responsibly. Easy to sit back on a computer and fire off snark when a gun isn’t in your face – AFAIK, he was not only brave he was cool under fire. But no True scot would whip up straw men to beat down either right?

  10. i stopped shopping at walgreens when i went in for a greeting card for my mothers birthday and couldn’t find one specifically addressed to mother, but i could find barack obama/joe biden picture cards saying “excellent work” and “yes we did”. the fact that they are based in chicago is no surprise. sad, because the pharmicist that works there is one of the nicest guys and provides excellent customer service. oh well cvs is the other choice…

  11. “Did you see the situation where he took the shots?”

    So you agree that, in certain situations, it’s not a good idea to whip out your iron and start blastin’.

    “Easy to sit back on a computer and fire off snark when a gun isn’t in your face…”

    ah-heh. So you’re arguing that we shouldn’t have reasonable and rational responses to situations, but instead we should panic and operate on pure emotional animal-brain instincts?


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