Man Sues Wal-Mart for $1M Over Racist P.A. Prank

Lawsuit claims that company didn't do enough to prevent teen from accessing intercom system

Wal-Mart is being sued for $1 million by a man who claims he was traumatized by a racist comment made over an intercom at one of the company's stores in South Jersey two years ago.

Donnell Battie of Winslow, N.J. claims Wal-Mart was negligent in failing to control access to the store's intercom, which was used to broadcast an announcement ordering all black people to leave the Washington Township store.

The suit says that “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., was negligent, careless, reckless, and showed deliberate indifference in allowing an unsafe and hostile condition to exist by failing to take proper measures in controlling access to the in store public address system.”

The page allegedly said: “Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now."

A 16-year-old boy was arrested days later and charged with harassment and bias intimidation. It was allegedly the second time the teen -- who wasn’t identified since he was a minor – had grabbed the intercom at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter tells the Courier-Post that the company has apologized for the March 2010 incident and has worked to prevent future incidents.

Rossiter also told the Courier-Post that Wal-Mart was “appalled” by what he called a “backward and mean-spirited” incident.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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