Defense Verdict Obtained in False Imprisonment Case

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered attorney Dustin J. Denning, with assistance from Jacob E. Peterson, successfully defended a large retailer in a jury trial in which plaintiff alleged that he was falsely detained by employees in the parking lot of the store.  The plaintiff sought $5,000 in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages.  The plaintiff alleged humiliation and embarrassment after he was stopped and asked to show his receipt for a GPS unit that he carried out of the store, unbagged, on Black Friday.  Plaintiff paid for the item, but alleged that he had no obligation to show the receipt when asked by store personnel.

The litigation lasted more than three years, during which numerous discovery and related motions were filed to address various positions taken by the plaintiff, including an attempt to depose certain high level “Apex” officials within the company.

Clark, Mize & Linville attorneys successfully argued at trial that the retailer’s employees were justified in stopping the plaintiff under the “Merchant’s Privilege”, which allows a retailer in Kansas to detain a person on the premises in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable period of time if the retailer reasonably believes that the person has actual possession of and has wrongfully taken, or is about to wrongfully take, merchandise from the store.

The Barton County, Kansas, jury returned a verdict in favor of our client.