Business Law


  • Smith and Roberson’s Business Law. 17th Edition · Mann/Roberts

Edith Mitchell, accompanied by her thirteen-year-old daughter, went through the checkout at Walmart and purchased several items. As they exited, the Mitchells passed through an electronic antitheft device, which sounded an alarm. Robert Canady, employed by Walmart as a “people greeter” and security guard, forcibly stopped Edith Mitchell at the exit, grabbed her bag, and told her to step back inside. The security guard never touched Edith or her daughter and never threatened to touch either of them. Nevertheless, Edith Mitchell described the security guard’s actions in her affidavit as “gruff, loud, rude behavior.” The security guard removed every item Mitchell had just purchased and ran it through the security gate. One of the items still had a security code unit on it, which an employee admitted could have been overlooked by the cashier. When the security guard finished examining the contents of Mitchell’s bag, he put it on the checkout counter. This examination of her bag took ten or fifteen minutes. Once her bag had been checked, no employee of Walmart ever told Mitchell she could not leave. Mitchell was
never threatened with arrest. Mitchell brought a tort action against Walmart.

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a. Explain on which torts Mitchell should base her claim against Walmart.

b. What arguments would support Walmart’s denial of liability for these torts?

c. Which party should prevail? Explain.

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