Can I sue if I was wrongfully stopped and questioned outside of a store by the manager because a cashier told him she saw me put something in my purse?

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Can I sue if I was wrongfully stopped and questioned outside of a store by the manager because a cashier told him she saw me put something in my purse?

I went to a store yesterday and purchased a few items. While I was standing on the line the items were slipping out of my grip. I placed some of the smaller items on the side as I placed 4/12 oz bottles of body spray on top of my purse. I saw the employee to the left of me tell a cashier that I put something in my purse. I went to the cashier, placed my already open purse on the register, took out all the items in my purse and paid for them. As I was leaving the store manager waited until I got outside to tell me that an employee said she saw me put something in my purse.

Asked on June 13, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What exactly would you be suing *for*? That is, other than being annoyed at what you consider a baseless accusation, what damage, loss, or injury did you suffer? The legal system is designed to compensate people for actual losses or injury; without some loss, even if you were wronged, there is nothing to sue for. Second, it's not clear any wrong was done to you; a manager privately (from what you wrote) stopped you to ask, based on some reasonable suspicion, whether you had taken anything. There is no protection from having a person say something to us privately, even if we find it unjustified or insulting. Therefore, for both reasons, it appears there is nothing to sue for in a situation like the one you describe.


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