News Brief

Lum and Davis Obtain Jury Verdict in Favor of World’s Second-Largest Retailer after Six-Day Trial

July 19, 2019
Larry Lum (Partner–NYC) and Rachel Davis (Associate-NYC) obtained a unanimous defense verdict in a false arrest and malicious prosecution action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings, on behalf of a multinational membership-only warehouse club. The City of New York, several police officers and the firm’s client and its loss prevention employee, were sued for wrongfully accusing, arresting and initiating prosecution of the plaintiff for shoplifting. Store employees alleged the plaintiff filled two carts with identical merchandise, checked out and paid for the first cart, and departed the store after having his receipt checked. He returned to the store and pushed the second cart past the cash registers without paying and attempted to exit with the merchandise in the second cart using the same receipt. The case was dismissed after four court appearances, ostensibly because the prosecutor relied on the fact that plaintiff had a paid receipt. No surveillance video of plaintiff’s movements within the store was preserved by the store or timely requested by the authorities before it was taped over in the normal course; it was therefore not available at trial allowing plaintiff to draw a negative inference about the missing footage. Plaintiff also sought monetary damages for civil rights violations against the individual police officers and punitive damages against the store’s loss prevention officer, none of which were granted by the jury, after less than 15 minutes of deliberation.

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