Semmes woman wins $2.1 million from Walmart over false arrest

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A woman who says she was falsely accused of shoplifting at the Semmes Walmart store has successfully sued the country’s biggest retailer for damages.

Lesleigh Nurse of Semmes was awarded $2.1 million by the Mobile County Circuit Court Jury.

The lawsuit, filed by Mobile Attorney Vince Kilborn in 2018, exposed Walmart’s practice of using a little-known state law to collect money from people accused of shoplifting from the retailer. However, some of those people may have been falsely accused.

While criminal charges against Nurse were dismissed, the company continued to send letters demanding $200 as a settlement. An expert testified Walmart and other major retailers routinely use the practice in states where sometimes loosely written laws allow it. Testimony revealed Walmart made hundreds of millions of dollars from the practice in a two-year period.

Defense attorneys for Walmart argued the practice is legal under Alabama law.

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