American Eagle Sues San Francisco Mall Owners Over Rampant Crime

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Font Size:

A clothing retailer is suing mall owners in San Francisco after rampant crime has caused the shopping outlet to “deteriorate into disarray” subjecting their employees to threats of violence.

American Eagle, one of the largest tenets left in the once-popular Westfield San Francisco Centre in downtown San Francisco, alleges that after the Covid-19 pandemic began, the mall’s management failed to maintain basic mall and security management, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That neglect left American Eagle’s employees “to suffer and respond to gun violence, physical assaults, burglaries, and robberies,” the lawsuit alleges, according to the outlet.

The lawsuit specifies that between May 2020 and May 2023, the store was targeted in over 100 “significant security incidents” claiming that on those occasions, American Eagle employees were verbally assaulted by “patrons” who threatened them with guns, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco Centre Mall

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 26: A station blocks a section of Nordstrom’s flagship store where fixtures are being stored at the San Francisco Centre on August 26, 2023, in San Francisco, California. Nordstrom will close its flagship store this Sunday after more than three decades at the San Francisco Centre. The Covid pandemic and rising crime in the area has contributed to a 25 percent sales decline at the mall and stores in the surrounding area. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In June 2023, Westfield and co-owner of the mall, Brookfield Properties, announced they would be defaulting on their $558 million loan for the property due to dwindling sales and foot traffic due to crime. While the owners of the mall placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of San Francisco’s government and city leaders, American Eagle has alleged the mall owners share the blame, the outlet stated.

“Westfield cannot walk away from the harm that it has caused without consequence. It must be held accountable for the damages caused by its failures and broken promises,” the lawsuit states, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Iconic Retailer Closes Shop In Blue City Thanks To Rampant Crime)

American Eagle is seeking “all actual and compensatory monetary damages” for an alleged breach of contract by the mall operators in terms of mall security and maintenance promised in the lease, which was supposed to run through 2028, the outlet reported.