clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Alabama woman who was arrested for shoplifting at Walmart just got $2.1 million in damages

A woman who says she was falsely accused and threatened by Walmart gets awarded $2.1 in damages

A Walmart in Pittsburgh.
This June 25, 2019, file photo shows the entrance to a Walmart in Pittsburgh.
Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

An Alabama woman who claimed to be falsely arrested for shoplifting at Walmart has been awarded $2.1 million in damages, per NBC News.

The woman, Lesleigh Nurse, said that she was stopped at the store in November 2016 when she was leaving with a bag of groceries she paid for, according to NBC News.

She said she remembers using self-checkout, having an issue with the scanner device and asking for assistance.

Per The New York Times, Walmart employees didn’t accept her explanation for the issue. She was later arrested on warrants for shoplifting in Mobile, Alabama.

“She was taken to a Mobile jail, searched, held in a small room and required to remove her false teeth, something she didn’t even do in front of her husband,” according to The New York Times.

Her case was dismissed a year later, which is when she started receiving letters from a law firm threatening to sue if she didn’t pay $200 as settlement, per USA Today. That was more than what her groceries cost during her trip that day.

Per USA Today, Walmart was sending these letters to others, too. Walmart and other major retailers often use this way of making back money in states that allowed it. This practice is legal in Alabama.

But Nurse decided to sue Walmart for damages, according to AL.com. The jury ruled in her favor.

“The defendants have engaged in a pattern and practice of falsely accusing innocent Alabama citizens of shoplifting and thereafter attempting to collect money from the innocently accused,” the lawsuit said, according to USA Today.

The company will be filing motions, according to USA Today, because Walmart doesn’t believe the verdict was based on evidence and that the award amount exceeds what is allowed by law.