Can I sue a store for accusing me of stealing? If so what kind of lawyer do I need?

Yesterday I walked into a sunglass hut by where I live to show my friend the glasses I have on hold at another location, which they did not have. As we were walking out the lady working said to us very rudely "where are these sunglasses?" not even had looked at sunglasses on that side of the store nor had looked at that brand we were confused and said "I don't know ma'am" and then she said in return "I need these sunglasses back before you leave." feeling embarrassed I asked "are you trying to imply something?" and in return she said "why yes I am. Where are those sunglasses" after emptying out my pockets and showing her I did not have them (I had no bags either) she still insisted on us stealing them. After asking to speak to a manager and being denied she said "well I guess if you didn't steal them you can leave" I later then called the location at which my glasses were on hold and had them leave a message for the manager. I have yet to receive a call back, making me feel as if it was not important to them. I was embarrassed and wrongfully accused in a store full of people. Can I sue? If so for what an what kind of lawyer would I need?

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  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, Corey, you could sue them, with them being either the woman who accused you, the store and/or others. A better question might be if you sue, are you likely to win anything?

    Most states recognize that a false accusation of a crime is defamation per se. The circumstances you describe seem to support that kind of claim, so you could probably do a good job with your friend as a witness to prove liability. The other big component in all civil cases is damages. You would have to prove how the false allegation of theft cost you money or otherwise injured you and equate that to a dollar figure that a judge/jury is likely to award.

    Search for an attorney licensed to practice law in your state with experience in defamation cases, and find someone who will work within a fee structure you are comfortable with.

    I hope this helps

    Good Luck to You.

    smith-and-raver-llp.biz

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  • 3 years ago

    If you tried on sunglasses when you were there, then she had every right to accuse you if you failed to return them to her. If you picked them out yourself, then you should have put them back. If you left them lying on the counter some place, you were rightfully accused. You can sue for your hurt feelings. It is a civil case. I don't think you want to sue in a higher court, unless you are willing to blow $200,000. Go and file in Small Claims. Make sure that you make it clear in the lawsuit that you are suing for your hurt feelings. That is about all you can sue for.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience.
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  • 3 years ago

    Anyone can make a mistake. Why do you insist on making money out of it...

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  • Yeti
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    You have to show damages to sue. For example, if a false accusation gets you fired from your job, you might sue over that. You're not realistically suing over a moment of embarrassment with your friend, especially when she likely made an honest mistake.

    You can complain to the manager at the store where you went. You can tell people you know what occurred so they're less likely to shop there.

    No attorney would take this as a case.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    In a case like this, social media is your friend. Store number, people you spoke to, the fact managers won't get back to you ,,,, that's how you handle this. Make sure you include their social media account like so for twitter:

    .@sunglassstore. It will ensure their followers see it.

    Suing will only put you in dept because you'll lose.

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  • 3 years ago

    On what grounds would you base the suit? Sure you can sue them, but you won't achieve anything by doing so. In order to receive any monetary compensation, you must prove damages of some sort. There is no basis for a claim of damages except to your pride. I'm afraid you are better off just forgetting about it. Don't do business with the chain in the future is all.

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  • 3 years ago

    I am a lawyer myself and I can confirm that it is firmly possible to do that. They can end up paying you huge sums of money if it is indeed true that you did not steal anything.

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  • 3 years ago

    You can only sue someone to recover "damages". That would be money or an item. You can't sue someone for hurt feelings. And, I don't know, I'm 53 years old, and have NEVER in my life ha anyone stopped me leaving a store or accused me of stealing. Maybe you should consider what it is about your look or demeanor that made her think you are a thief.

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  • HJW
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    You have NO case. No Attorney would even speak to you.

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  • 3 years ago

    No

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