Can I file a lawsuit against sotre for security assaulting me?

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Can I file a lawsuit against sotre for security assaulting me?

I was at national retailer and they were looking for some guy they said I was wit. I wasn’t but security rushed me at the register and pushed me against the counter. I am 6 months pregnant and they hurt my stomach really bad and it is bruised. Then they falsely accused me for shoplifting. Can I file a suit against them for hurting me?

Asked on April 28, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Although you could sue the store for assault and battery, it would be difficult to prevail in the case.  Assault is placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.

The problem is that the store has a legal privilege of detention for investigation and can use reasonable nondeadly force when there is a reasonable suspicion of shoplifting. 

You would need to prove that the store used excessive force and the store did not have a reasonable belief to assert its privilege of detention for investigation.

Hopefully, the baby is OK.  If the baby was injured, you would have a stronger case against the store for assault and battery due to the use of excessive force.


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