Can I sue a stoe for falsely accusing me of fraud?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I sue a stoe for falsely accusing me of fraud?

I purchased a bicycle from a national retail chain about 2 weeks ago. I asked the cashier to hold the bicycle for me until I could get a vehicle large enough to take the bicycle back to my residence. He said that was fine and he would do that for me. He did not ask me for my name nor did he ask me for a telephone number. After failing to find a vehicle large enough for transport, I went back to the store today with the original receipt to get a refund of the $101.98 that I paid. Not only was I told that the bike was no longer at that store and absolutely nowhere to be found, but that I may not get my refund and I was accused of already transporting or had someone else transport the bicycle to my residence. This is completely false; I never left that store with any bike. The manager was also skeptical of me because his employee did not follow proper protocol in asking me for my name and telephone number. In conclusion, I do not have the bicycle that I paid for and yet the store has my $101.98. I am demanding a refund. If I don’t get one, what further legal action can I take?

Asked on July 19, 2016 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the store for your money, under one or more of several theories: breach of contract (not doing their part, of providing you a bike, when you did your part of paying), unjust enrichment (taking your money without providing something of value), or conversion (a type of theft: taking something entrusted to them but which was not theirs--the bike you'd paid for). You should sue both the store and the individual employee, since if the employee committed theft, the store is not liable: employers are generally not responsible for the crimes of their employees, since committing crime is not part of the job. To win, you'd have to prove, such as by receipt(s), testimony, etc. that you had paid for the bike and never got it.
You can't sue for the manager accusing you of theft: any person may accuse any other person to his/her face of crime and that is legal (it's not defamation because defamation are untrue damaging comments about you made to third parties, not directly to you).


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption