Question

Kimberly Dickerson entered a Wal- Mart Store in Jefferson Parish in Louisiana with some friends. Kimberly left her friends and went to the area of the store that sold stamp albums. She purchased the stamp album and a pack of gum, which the store clerk placed in a bag. Kimberly then went to another area in the store where one of her friends was waiting.
This area was in a secluded part of the store. She proceeded to place her hand in the Wal-Mart bag to retrieve the gum she had just purchased. At that moment, Mrs. Neal, a customer service manager, came along and saw what Kimberly was doing. Since Kimberly’s moves seemed suspicious, she snatched Kimberly’s bag, searched the bag, discovered a receipt, and then sent them to the area where they claimed their other friends were shopping. This whole incident lasted about one minute.
Kimberly was never told that she was being detained and that they could not leave the store. Kimberly and her parents sued Wal- Mart for false imprisonment. Does she have a legitimate cause of action? Keep in mind that Louisiana law gives quasi- police powers to merchants to protect against shoplifting and gives them immunity from liability from malicious prosecution when the merchant has reasonable cause to believe that a theft of goods has occurred on their premises.


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  • CreatedSeptember 15, 2015
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