Man Sues Costco for $670K After He Refuses to Show Receipt at the Door

A man shopping at Costco Wholesale in Portland, Oregon, says he refused to show the receipt for his purchases at the door – and that he was then unlawfully detained and attacked because of it, reports The Oregonian.

Timothy Walls is suing the store for $670,000. He says his refusal to abide by Costco’s policy of checking receipts at the door on Jan. 28, 2013 resulted in him suffering from a broken leg after a store employee allegedly kicked him.

Walls reportedly purchased $102.66 worth of merchandise and was trying to exit the store when he says an employee grabbed his cart and refused to let him leave until he produced his receipt. This practice, which is common at many big-chain stores, has come under scrutiny by shoppers claiming it violates their Fourth Amendment rights – and Walls says he took offense at the suggestion that he may have stolen goods from the store.

But Costco’s policy transparently states: “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse.”

Walls pulled the employee by his shirt collar, according to the lawsuit, which was when a second worker – who had trained with the U.S. Armed Forces – allegedly used a “martial arts type strike with his leg” and kicked Walls.

Both parties have different accounts of where the incident took place. Walls says he was already outside in the breezeway, while Costco claims the man was still in the store.

Bill Stockton, an attorney representing Costco, wrote in a motion filed about the incident that Walls’ injuries were “the sole and direct result of (his) own conduct, fault, and negligence.”

Walls, meanwhile, is seeking $150,000 for past and future medical expenses, $20,000 for lost wages and $500,000 for pain and suffering.

“The central issue in the case is … ‘What can Costco lawfully do?'” asked Clayton Morrison, an attorney representing Walls. “’Can they actually stop you and take your property from you?’ Our answer is ‘No.’”

Source: The Oregonian

Photo Credit: Elsie Hui/Flickr, Associated Press 2009/The Oregonian


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