Judge: Wal-Mart Not At Fault for Racial Comments

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A New Jersey man is trying to get a lawsuit against Wal-Mart reinstated for damages he says he suffered after a teenager hijacked a store intercom and announced that "all black people must leave the store."
     
    A federal judge in October dismissed Donnell Battie's $1 million claim against Wal-Mart, saying the company should not be responsible for "isolated, random events."
     
    The teen took over the intercom and made the announcement at Wal-Mart's Washington Township store in March 2010. 

    Customers, who were shopping in the store at the time, told NBC10 the teen came over the PA system and calmly announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now."
     
    Battie's lawyer, John Klamo, tells the Courier-Post his client was emotionally distressed and the announcement resulted in "substantial sickness."

    In the original lawsuit, the Winslow, N.J. man claimed Wal-Mart was negligent in failing to control access to the store's intercom. 
     
    A Wal-Mart spokesman says the company has upgraded its intercoms to prevent future takeovers.
     
    The teen who made the announcement was charged with bias intimidation.  Authorities arrested the 16-year-old boy after he bragged about his actions online.  Washington Township police said they were notified about information he posted to his Facebook page and on YouTube.