NEW YORK (PIX11) – A Lebanese fashion editor is suing the pharmacy giant Duane Reade for $40 million after she says her breasts were fondled after going for a free blood pressure exam.
Hayat Ammouri, 42, a devout Muslim, was visiting NYC when she entered a Duane Reade on Lexington Ave. to buy over-the-counter medicine when the pharmacist, Monesh Hanoman, 26, suggested she test her blood pressure, according to court papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
He led her behind an enclosed partition where he told her to take off her coat, sweater and and scarf to perform the routine blood check. He then offered a manual breast exam, which she accepted, apparently unaware that such an exam is not normally offered at Duane Reade.
“She agreed, reasonably thinking that this is a type of examination that could be offered by…a health-care professional wearing a white Duane Reade-issue robe…the distinctive dress of physicians,” the lawsuit states.
Hanoman allegedly pulled down her t-shirt, “and pushed each cup of her bra to the side so that her breasts were fully exposed,” according to court papers. He then “sadistically and perversely rubbed Ms. Ammouri’s breasts” while asking her questions about whether she had ever given birth or breastfed before.
Ammouri found out something was wrong after telling her cousin at the Waldorf-Astoria about the bizarre April 22 encounter.
The pharmacy found out about the incident and subsequently fired Hanoman from the 575 Lexington location.
“Upon learning of this incident, we conducted a prompt investigation and the individual involved is no longer employed by Duane Reade,” spokesman Calvin Peters told the New York Daily News. “We truly regret that this occurred.”