Accusations of stolen shoes leads to $75K suit against Sears

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 11, 2008, 2:11pm

TEXARKANA -- Shortly after entering a Paris, Texas, Sears store for the second time on Nov. 30, 2007, Brandy Mosley was confronted by Sears' employees about the new tennis shoes she was wearing. The employees accused Mosley of stealing the shoes and then escorted her to the Loss Prevention room.

Mosley states the Sears' employees forced her to remove her shoes and then took possession of them. After an extended detention and questioning in which a number of employees were involved, Mosley was allowed to leave the store � but barefooted.

Seeking actual and exemplary damages in excess of $75,000, Mosley filed suit against Sears Holding Corp. on June 6, in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The plaintiff states that she was not given a choice, but had to come with the Sears' employees to the Loss Prevention room. At least three or four employees participated in the questioning and according to Mosley, refused to allow her to make a phone call.

Although the Sears store called the police, the store had to ultimately release Mosley because there was no evidence to detain her any longer. The employees told Mosley that she could never return to the store or she would face criminal trespass charges.

Mosley maintains the shoes were a gift from her mother and believes the store did not even sell the Sketchers she was wearing.

Mosley states that she felt frightened, humiliated, embarrassed and suffered mental anguish and damage to her reputation in damages in excess of $75,000. Further, she claims she has suffered additional humiliation and embarrassment as the news spread that she was accused of stealing.

According to the complaint, "she continues to suffer severe mental anguish that interferes with her ability to carry out the day-to-day responsibilities of life and to enjoy life."

Attorney J. Stephen Walker of The Moore Law Firm, L.L.P located in Paris, Texas, is representing the plaintiff in her allegations.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom has referred the case to Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven.

Case No. 5:08cv00096

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