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Family says daughter stabbed by dirty needle at Target while trying on pants

A Kent County lawsuit says the incident happened in the dressing room of a Target store on Clyde Park Avenue SW in Wyoming.

WYOMING, Mich. — A West Michigan family has filed a negligence lawsuit against a national retailer after they say their daughter was poked and stabbed by a used hypodermic needle.

"She was just kind of hysterical, saying something had poked her," said the girl's stepmother, Jessica Fare. "She wasn't sure what was going on."

Timothy Fare, the girl's father, says the incident happened last June at the Target on Clyde Park Avenue SW while his then 12-year-old daughter was trying on a pair of jeans. 

The needle stabbed and scratched her in the leg and poked her in the hand as she put her hand in the pocket, the lawsuit claims. Her parents say they took her to the hospital directly after the incident to be tested.

"It's just one of those moments as a parent that you're trying to comfort somebody, but you need to be comforted because you don't really know what's going on either," Jessica Fare said.

The Fares said they did not have initial intentions of taking legal action, but a 'lack of response from Target' led them to seek an attorney's advice.

A spokesperson for Target claims the family did not respond to the corporation's attempts to find a resolution. 

Attorney Tim Seeger, who worked with the family to file a negligence lawsuit, said the case shocked him. 

"It's stressful, it's anxiety ridden. I don't know how I would react much less a 12-year-old girl," said Seeger, who works for Grewal Law.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year in Kent County Circuit Court; Target this week filed for the case to be moved to federal court. 

The family says the incident at Target has caused their daughter to become anxious about normal, everyday things. 

"It's hard to explain to her that this isn't common," Timothy Fare said. "There's a likelihood it will never happen again, but we can't tell her that."

A Target spokesperson sent 13 ON YOUR SIDE a statement on Friday:

“We’re very sorry that this happened in our store and we investigated immediately once our guest made us aware. We reached out to the family last year to try and work toward a resolution, but didn’t hear back from them until they filed a lawsuit last month. We will continue to work toward an amicable resolution for everyone involved.”

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► Emma Nicolas is a multimedia journalist. Have a news tip or question for Emma? Get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter.

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