A mall in San Francisco is being sued for allowing the location to “deteriorate into disarray” and for failing to protect American Eagle employees from “gun violence, physical assaults, burglaries, and robberies,” according to a report.
The San Francisco Business Times first reported on a suit by the company that owns American Eagle, AE Retail West LLC, against Westfield mall.
“The lawsuit claims the American Eagle shop, between May 2020 and May 2023, was the scene of more than 100 ‘significant security incidents. … On multiple occasions, patrons have brandished firearms while verbally assaulting the store’s employees,’” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Westfield cannot walk away from the harm that it has caused without consequence,” AE Retail West LLC claimed in the lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco Superior Court. “It must be held accountable for the damages caused by its failures and broken promises,” the Chronicle reported.
Westfield mall did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Westfield, a shopping center giant that also has locations at the World Trade Center in New York City and in New Jersey, told FOX Business in June that the company and partner Brookfield Properties had stopped making payments on a $558 million loan securing the San Francisco Centre property.
“For more than 20 years, Westfield has proudly and successfully operated San Francisco Centre, investing significantly over that time in the vitality of the property,” the company said in a statement.
The statement continued: “Given the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic, we have made the difficult decision to begin the process to transfer management of the shopping center to our lender to allow them to appoint a receiver to operate the property going forward.”
It was yet another example of a high-profile company pulling back or withdrawing its business entirely from San Francisco, in what some critics have called a “doom loop,” a cycle of rising crime that causes businesses to fail.
Westfield’s announcement came after Park Hotels & Resorts announced it had handed two prominent hotels back to the bank. The real estate investment trust said it was abandoning the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55, saying the city’s streets are unsafe and expressing doubts about the area’s ability to recover.
A spokesman for AEO Inc. said the company doesn’t provide comment on any ongoing litigation.
Mayor London Breed’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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FOX Business’ Breck Dumas contributed to this report.