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Wed May 16, 2012, 07:16 AM

I have to side with Wal-Mart on this one - Wal-Mart sued for prank pulled by 16 year old customer

Walmart sued for 'all black people must leave' prank
A black man is suing Walmart for $1 million in damages, claiming he suffered emotional distress while he was shopping at a store in Washington Township, N.J. On March 14, 2010, a voice came over the PA system announcing: "Attention Walmart customers: All black people leave the store now." A manager quickly took control of the microphone and a 16-year-old boy was later arrested for the prank. Donnell Battie's lawyers claim the megastore was negligent and reckless in allowing the incident to occur, and that he suffered from a number of psychological disorders as a result.

http://now.msn.com/now/0516-walmart-black-announcement.aspx

How can Wal-Mart be responsible for something a customer does in the store?

44 replies, 5043 views

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Reply I have to side with Wal-Mart on this one - Wal-Mart sued for prank pulled by 16 year old customer (Original post)
liberal N proud May 2012 OP
Meiko May 2012 #1
liberal N proud May 2012 #2
Forward2012 May 2012 #4
Maine-ah May 2012 #35
randome May 2012 #37
Ian David May 2012 #20
randome May 2012 #3
Logical May 2012 #10
Meiko May 2012 #44
Baitball Blogger May 2012 #22
Cave_Johnson May 2012 #5
Logical May 2012 #8
lame54 May 2012 #6
Logical May 2012 #9
lame54 May 2012 #12
liberal N proud May 2012 #13
lame54 May 2012 #16
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #23
lame54 May 2012 #32
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #36
lame54 May 2012 #39
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #40
lame54 May 2012 #43
qazplm May 2012 #18
Bake May 2012 #28
Buns_of_Fire May 2012 #7
randome May 2012 #15
Buns_of_Fire May 2012 #17
Kaleva May 2012 #24
Bake May 2012 #29
pinboy3niner May 2012 #31
LeftinOH May 2012 #11
Blue_Tires May 2012 #14
Amaril May 2012 #30
obamanut2012 May 2012 #19
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #21
sharp_stick May 2012 #25
lynne May 2012 #26
hifiguy May 2012 #27
Remmah2 May 2012 #33
4th law of robotics May 2012 #34
-..__... May 2012 #38
jp11 May 2012 #41
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #42

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:36 AM

1. The store should

 

have controlled the access to their PA system better. It's hard to believe that they don't have any better security than to allow anyone to make announcements unchecked. What if this kid would have yelled "fire" and panicked everyone, possibly causing injuries to someone. This is Walmart's fault.

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Response to Meiko (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:41 AM

2. A but they do

They have codes they are supposed to enter. The questions is how did the kid get on the PA.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:44 AM

4. It depends on the system

 

I worked at Sams Club (which is the country club of Walmarts). We had the same PA system. Basically you pick up one of the phones and hit the 'loudspeaker' button. No codes needed. Im not sure if other stores have a code-system or if there is a company wide standard for phone/PA systems. It could happen though.

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Response to Forward2012 (Reply #4)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:21 AM

35. at the two wal marts I worked for

this is back in 1992-1995, Maine and Florida, we had codes on the phones. The codes were the same for all the stores. Not that hard to figure out, and many of the phones had the instructions on them for different extensions, and for the intercom system. All these years later, the code is still the same at the Maine store I worked at. I've been tempted many many times.....

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Response to Maine-ah (Reply #35)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:35 AM

37. "Attention, Walmart shoppers!"

"For one hour only, everything is FREE!!!"

Something like that?

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:03 AM

20. You hang-out near the phone and watch an employee enter the code. n/t

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Response to Meiko (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:42 AM

3. It's Walmart's 'fault' perhaps.

But it is not a million dollar fault. And 'faults' like this can be corrected. That's the only reasonable outcome.

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Response to Meiko (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:02 AM

10. Wow, people like you disappointment! n-t

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Response to Logical (Reply #10)

Wed May 16, 2012, 02:05 PM

44. Why?

 

Walmart should be able to control their assets. I don't think it's a million dollar screw up but it needs to be looked at.

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Response to Meiko (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:10 AM

22. Possibly so, however, they should subrogate against the boy and his family.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:48 AM

5. The kid is a jerk and...

 

A reasonableness standard applies...

The guy who is suing is a scumbag looking for a payout.

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Response to Cave_Johnson (Reply #5)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:00 AM

8. I00% agree! This is NOT walmarts fault! Wish I was on the jury!!

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 07:59 AM

6. no sympathy here...

fuck walmart - let them be the victim for a change

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Response to lame54 (Reply #6)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:01 AM

9. LOL, this was not walmarts fault! Jesus, people are not logical!

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Response to Logical (Reply #9)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:10 AM

12. missing the point...

i don't care if it's walmarts fault

I wouldn't lift a finger to defend those scum-bags - and that includes writing an OP

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Response to lame54 (Reply #12)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:13 AM

13. I think your point is very clear

Wrong perhaps, but very clear.

Just because a large corporation has no heart, even though they have been declared a person, that does not make them responsible for the actions of mindless person, who is not associated with the company.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #13)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:20 AM

16. and i'm not responsible for who wrongfully sues them...

it is not my place to publicly defend them

their team of lawyers will probably flick him off like a flea

but - this is their fight - and if they lose it - fuck 'em

with all the people they screw on a daily basis they don't deserve the defense of anybody here

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Response to lame54 (Reply #16)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:10 AM

23. You're not responsible because you have no power one way or the other.

And this is a good thing.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #23)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:51 AM

32. Go Walmart

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Response to lame54 (Reply #32)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:30 AM

36. So, because I don't support Stalinism I must be a Czarist

And all this time I've been told reflexive, uncritical, bumper-sticker argumentation was the exclusive province of conservatives.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #36)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:54 AM

39. Ok - I'll go with that...

whatever the hell it means

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Response to lame54 (Reply #39)

Wed May 16, 2012, 12:14 PM

40. It means you're relying on a false dichotomy.

Speaking against a perversion of justice is not defending Wal-Mart, it's speaking out against a perversion of justice.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #40)

Wed May 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

43. you are standing up for the defendant...

the defendant is walmart
therefore:
you are standing up for walmart

i agree that you are speaking against what you see as a perversion of justice
but there is no way you can subtract walmart from this equation

there is injustice all around us - we can't possibly fight it all

we have to pick our battles

there is no way I'm picking this one

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Response to lame54 (Reply #12)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:59 AM

18. you are defending them

its about rule of law and the right result, not who the individual defendant is.

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Response to qazplm (Reply #18)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:04 AM

28. Then let it play out in the courts and see what happens.

That's what the "rule of law" is all about. Funny, but it seems like it's always the Pukes who cry about the "rule of law."

So let it play out. That's what the rule of law is all about.

Bake

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:00 AM

7. Well, now HERE'S a lawsuit that's destined to go a long way.

Someone once said something mean to me here, and it caused me much "emotional distress," leading to numerous "psychological disorders" and uh... the heartbreak of psoriasis, too. (Yeah, that's the ticket.) Therefore, I'm suing everyone here for a zillion dollars for letting it happen.

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #7)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:17 AM

15. Your avatar causes me emotional distress.

So we're even.

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Response to randome (Reply #15)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:29 AM

17. My team of lawyers has advised me to accept your settlement.

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #7)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:16 AM

24. Your username mocks those with hemorrhoids. Expect a class action suit!

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #24)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:05 AM

29. I will gladly serve as a class representative!!

Buns of fire, indeed!

Preparation H, anyone?

Bake

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #24)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:18 AM

31. Count your blessings. At least you didn't end up with AWSD...

'Attention WalMart Shoppers' Disorder.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:05 AM

11. Store-wide speaker systems are easy to use, it just

takes someone with enough nerve to use it. Wal-Mart is not at fault.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:16 AM

14. why even sue?

1. The voice on the PA should have been easily recognizable as a 16-year-old

2. Like 99 percent of 16-year-olds, I don't think he'd even be able to finish the 'announcement' without snickering...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #14)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:14 AM

30. Because there is money to be had

Walmart will undoubtedly pay the guy -- and his attorney -- something (not a million or even close to a million), because it will cost them far less to make a "nuisance" settlement than to defend it thru trial.

Squeaky wheel.........grease.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:02 AM

19. As much as it pains me to admit, I agree

This isn't Wal-Mart's fault.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:07 AM

21. That Mitt Romney is getting out of control with his pranking. n/t

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:41 AM

25. They've got the money

the kid doesn't. First rule in hiring a lawsuit lawyer is find one that will go after the cash.

Not only that there's a better chance that a big company will settle before it's realized how idiotic your lawsuit actually is.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:48 AM

26. Have to agree that Walmart isn't at fault here -

- We would feel differently about this case if this occurred at a small mom and pop shop. To want to make Walmart liable and pay for something that was not their fault isn't justice - it's vigilantism.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 09:57 AM

27. This is BS, the definition of a frivolous lawsuit,

and I am (1) someone who doesn't make that accusation lightly; and (2) a plaintiffs' attorney.

The standards for infliction of emotional distress are quite high and usually involve things like lying, libel, slander and the like. If I were a judge I would bounce this claim, should it be filed, on Rule 12 grounds - failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and then sanction the hell out of any lawyer dumb enough to bring such a claim. Wal-Mart isn't responsible for the conduct of the public unless it involves something vastly more egregious than this. "Psychological disorders" my ass.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

33. Stupid prank, stupid lawsuit.

 

Make the kid do a million hours community service in a local soup kitchen and attend ethnic sensitivity training.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:15 AM

34. Wanting free money isn't a psychological disorder

 

How about you get to lash the kid X amount of times. Until you feel better.

I think that's a fair solution.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 11:40 AM

38. Plaintiff is a sad, opportunistic POS.

 

No wonder people are angered and frustrated by the current legal system.

suffered from a number of psychological disorders as a result.


Gimme a break.

I agree "fuck WalMart"...fuck WalMart if they cave in and settle out of court and pay out even one cent.


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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 12:25 PM

41. Wal-mart has a burden of limited responsibility in providing a safe environment for customers

to shop. This includes having security and employees that aren't mentally unbalanced/dangerous/etc. They are far more limited on their control of other customers but have to have SOME methods to prevent the customers from attacking each other.

As far as this incident walmart is only to blame in so far as they should have had better control of the PA system assuming one of the employees hadn't left it unsecured/easily accessed by anyone.

Now this person is not entitled to 1 million dollars for that outburst of a stupid kid. It would have been nearly identical had the kid brought in a megaphone and said the same thing, or had a personal amplified, or worse if he had said something more offensive and racist. Is Walmart to blame then, when he isn't using their property/equipment no they are not. They should react when employees are aware or informed of that kind of behavior to eject the customer or call the police.

I don't know if the customer suing had issues in another country or was the victim of racial attacks as those are pretty much the only ways I can see claiming emotional distress to the tune of $1 million dollars.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 12:26 PM

42. I remember that incident. frivilous law suit.

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