Can you sue a store for falsely accusing you for stealing and public humiliating you?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you sue a store for falsely accusing you for stealing and public humiliating you?

My daughter was in a store looked at a ring and placed it back and went into another store. She then came out and a security guard and the store manager were waiting; they asked to check her (she didn’t even have pockets on her). Also, they checked her bag which she just had paid $180 for. I went to owner and told him that my daughter had been embarrassed as her friends have called her asking questions. She is now crying and devastated that she was placed out there to be humiliated in front of her classmates.

Asked on October 2, 2010 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In this case, you *probably* can't sue.  If a store has any sort of reasonable basis for thinking that your daughter might have shoplifted--and if they saw her try on a ring, particularly an expensive one, and leave, that could easily be a reasonable basis--they asking to check her would not generally constitute defamation or intentional infliction of emotional harm. If there is reason to think the store's motive was itself not legitimate--e.g. your daughter is a racial minority, and they targeted her because of her race; or she knew someone at the store, who targeted her for personal reasons--that might be different, and if you think that's the case, it may be worth consulting with an attorney who can evaluate the situation in detail. But a legitimate check based on reasonable suspicion would very likley not result in liability.


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