After being accused of cashing counterfeit money orders and arrested at a Walmart in 2008, a Houston woman has won $9 million in damages in a civil lawsuit against the retailer. 24-year-old Nitra Gipson spent two days in jail…and the money orders turned out to be genuine.
Company lawyers based in Utah later sent her a letter alleging that she owed Walmart money for taking merchandise. The letter threatened to pursue a shoplifting charge if she didn’t pay $200.
“The jury found that she had been defamed by being accused of forgery, counterfeiting, theft and shoplifting,” said Houston lawyer Lloyd Kelley, who represented Gipson.
“The main problem for Walmart has been the bad publicity,” Kelley said, adding that the retailer hasn’t offered an apology, hasn’t asked that charges against Gipson be expunged and has not revealed any company policy changes resulting from the incident.
To be fair, since this incident and the lawsuit, Walmart has started charging a lot more fees when people come to their stores to cash money orders. That’s probably not what they had in mind, though.
TSU grad wins $9 million in Wal-Mart suit [Houston Chronicle] (Thanks, Juvir!)