Anyone who has paid for a purchase with a $100 bill is probably familiar with the various methods that stores have for validating the authenticity of the note. But one Texas woman says she was publicly humiliated at her local Walmart when a cashier ripped up two of her C-notes — and then detained her on allegations of trying to pass counterfeit bills — without properly checking to see if the money was the real deal.
According to the suit, filed earlier this month in Bexar County Court in San Antonio, the mom had been doing some late-night holiday shopping at Walmart when she attempted to pay for her approximately $150 purchase with one $100 bill and a $50 bill.
“The cashier inspected the $100 bill, turned to another cashier and had a brief discussion, and returned to her register telling the plaintiff her money was ‘fake,'” reads the complain. “The cashier proceeded to rip the $100 bill in half without performing any counterfeit detection tests. The metallic strip in the $100 bill was clearly visible.”
The plaintiff claims that it wasn’t until after the bill was ripped up that the cashier attempted to use a counterfeit detection pen, which the customer says showed the now-shredded cash was authentic.
And yet, the cashier called a manager and told him the money was fake. She claims the manager made no attempt to verify the money for himself.
She took out a second $100 bill from her purse to show to the manager, says the complaint, but he allegedly “took this bill from her, told her it was also counterfeit, ripped it in half and again told plaintiff she had to wait for police.”
The plaintiff says she was detained for at least two hours in full view of other customers.
Police eventually arrived and verified that the ripped-up Benjamins were indeed the real thing. According to the complaint, the manager then attempted to give the remains of the $100 bills back to the woman, who refused. After all, if she’d had enough hassle trying to pay with legitimate, whole bills, imagine trying to explain why you’re money is all taped together to the next retailer.
The police officer instructed the manager to pay her back with un-ripped cash.
Her lawsuit seeks punitive damages for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Furious Customer Sues Wal-Mart [CourthouseNews.com]