Lydia Davis and her teenage daughter, Sandra Smith, of Manchester, are suing their local Wal-Mart because they were detained and “suffered fright, shock and extreme mental anguish. . . embarrassment in their community and great damage to their reputations” their lawsuit states.
Because they had to take the bus home from the store they asked for extra shopping bags to consolidate over $300 in purchases and be able to carry them more easily.
“It’s clear,” said their attorney Jeanette Chambers that [Wal-Mart’s] agents focused on my clients’ color and race rather than their conduct.”
During the process, the teenager put two $50 iTunes cards in the upper sleeve of her jacket, according to the lawsuit.
Davis and Smith were sitting on chairs near the cashier to consolidate the contents of their bags, when they were approached by a Wal-Mart employee who, the lawsuit says, “immediately rushed over, stood over, and blocking the sitting plaintiffs, demanded to see the receipt.”
Davis and Smith said the receipt must have fallen into the bottom of one of the bags, and proceeded to search for the sales ticket.
The lawsuit says that the Wal-Mart employee, all the while hovering over the seated plaintiffs, began yelling very loudly, “in a threatening manner, ‘Thief! Thief! Security! Security!'”
By now, the plaintiffs were “were in extreme emotional distress, and with tears in their eye, continued to search for the receipt,” according to the suit. Eventually, it was found.
“Everyone in the crowded store stopped what they were doing and stared at the plaintiffs,” the lawsuit says. Next security came rushing over and stood by the employee. Davis asked the employee her name after the melee and, the lawsuit states, the worker “briskly flipped her name card tag around,” to prevent the mother and daughter from seeing it.
Chambers said Smith and Davis have no criminal records.
Source: Hartford Courant
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