Walmart Customer With Tourette’s Claims She Was Kicked Out Of Store, Told Not To Return

A Florida woman with Tourette’s syndrome is suing Walmart, claiming she was banned from the store, in violation of the American with Disabilities Act. She and her husband are seeking more than $2.2 million in damages for emotional distress.

People with Tourette’s may exhibit facial tics and other involuntary repetitive movements, and have outbursts of profanity, known as “coprolalia,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The woman was shopping at Walmart with two of her children in August 2011 when she was ordered to leave and not come back by a manager and a security officer, according to a circuit court filing complaint, reports Florida Today.

Her lawyer says the Walmart workers also called the police, who issued a no-trespassing order against her.

“It’s putting part of her hometown off-limits for her. And it’s a place she’s accustomed to frequent, and she has the right to frequent. They used to do this to people who had black skin, or who didn’t speak English, or were Chinese (or of) Asian ancestry. Women were excluded from some places — and that’s just been in my lifetime,” her attorney told Florida Today.

He added that most people understand when they hear her having a verbal tic, or using profane language.

“They recognize it as Tourette’s, and they just shrug it off like water off a duck’s back,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed in mid-May, and seeks $2 million in damages for the woman’s emotional distress, as well as $200,000 for the husband, due to “loss of consortium” with his wife.

Walmart’s legal counsel stated in a court filing that store employees did not act improperly; did not physically or psychologically harm the customer; and had no prior knowledge of her Tourette’s syndrome or medical condition.

The woman says she is often traumatized by the treatment she receives because of her outbursts. Since the alleged incident at Walmart, she says she’s led a more secluded life, and her kids do her grocery shopping for her.

“God didn’t make everybody to be the same. You know, this is who I am. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s genetic. It’s hereditary. And it’s something that I have to live with for the rest of my life. This is just me,” she told Florida Today.

Brevard woman with Tourette’s sues Walmart over ban [Florida Today]