Wal-Mart sued for falsely accusing teenager of shoplifting

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 22, 2010, 1:45am

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Wal-Mart for falsely accusing a teenager of shoplifting causing him mental anguish and the loss of a scholarship.

Brandon Broussard filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Dec. 17 in the Eastern District of Texas.

The incident occurred on Dec. 23, 2009, as Broussard and one of his friends walked into the Beaumont Wal-Mart in order to meet Broussard's cousin. Broussard states that he saw his cousin with security personnel and the personnel rushed toward him and his friend. The 18 year old states that security handcuffed and arrested him.

"Plaintiff was humiliated and very upset and had no idea why this was happening. Plaintiff repeatedly asked why he was being arrested," the lawsuit states.

Broussard states he had not stolen anything, not attempted to steal anything, nor assisted anyone in any attempts to steal from Wal-Mart.

According to the complaint, Broussard was a football star hoping to get a college scholarship.

Three months later, the theft charges were dismissed because there was no evidence to support the defendant's allegations.

The defendant is accused of false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation and negligence.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, shame, fright, anguish, physical and mental suffering and damage to his reputation, economic losses from bond fee, bail, lost football scholarship, loss of tuition and related school fees, towing charges and lost time, exemplary damages, interest and court costs.

Broussard is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis of Bush Lewis in Beaumont. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10-cv-00811

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