Friday, November 21, 2003
Summary judgment for Wal-Mart on tort claims of accused shoplifter
In Hall v. Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc., Judge Jones granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims of the plaintiff, who swore that she had no intent to steal some azaleas that she failed to put back after discovering she did not have enough money to pay for them. The woman was at the store with her 4 children, and had won an acquital on the shoplifting charges. The Court concluded, among other things, that there was no dispute of fact as to the defendant's immunity defense under the statute, Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-105, which allows stores to detain suspected shoplifters when they have probable cause.