What are my rights if I was physically assaulted and battered by LP at a major retail store under the accusation of theft?

I was not found in possession of any merchandise yet I was assaulted again in the interrogation room and I suffered extensive injuries to my neck and back area. Since then, about a week, my pain has not diminished. Do I have enough to start a case?

Asked on February 5, 2013 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Although a store has a shopkeeper's privilege of detention for investigation where theft is suspected, the detention for investigation has to be reasonable and cannot involve force.

You can sue the store for assault, battery, and false imprisonment.  These are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.

Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Battery is the actual physical contact.  Assault does not require any physical contact, only the reasonable apprehension of immediate physical contact.  Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.  False imprisonment is intentional confinement without consent or legal privilege.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Your damages (the amount of monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) will be based on your medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss.  You can also seek punitive damages (a substantial amount to punish the store's wrongful and intentional acts).

You will need to file your lawsuit against the store prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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