Case No. A93A2024
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Varsha Mandiga on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BUSA 2106 at Georgia State University taught by Grelecki in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views.
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Date Created: 03/10/16
Varsha Mandiga TAYLOR et al. v. SUPER DISCOUNT MARKET, INC. FACTS Case No. A93A2024 When: February 7 , 1994. rd Reconsideration Denied February 23 , 1994. th Certiorari Denied April 8 , 1994. Where: Court of Appeals of Georgia. Who: Appellant – Nick Long & Associates, Nick Long, Darryl S. Marmon. Appellees – Drew, Eckl & Farnham, G. Randall Moody, Jennifer D. Welch. SMITH, Judge. What: Lawrence Taylor, Ervan Jacobs, and Randy Rayford brought suit against Super Discount Market, Inc. d/b/a Cub Foods seeking damages for false imprisonment. The trial court granted Super Discount's motion for summary judgment. ISSUE(S) Appellants contend that OCGA § 51760 does not apply to the facts of this case. Court agrees. Appellants also maintain that Super Discount's argument that any detention of appellants was carried out solely by Mumford in his capacity as a police officer ignores evidence in the record, and that the evidence reveals at least a question of fact regarding whether Devens, as well as Mumford, "detained" them tortiously. RULE(S) OCGA § 51760. Preclusion of recovery for detention or arrest of person suspected of shoplifting under certain circumstances. OCGA § 16814(a). Theft by shoplifting. ANAYLSIS The statute provides a defense to claims of false arrest or false imprisonment "whenever the owner or operator of a mercantile establishment or any agent or employee of the owner or operator detains, arrests, or causes to be detained or arrested any person reasonably thought to be engaged in shoplifting." The statute makes no reference to the detention of people for reasons other than suspected shoplifting and being in derogation of common law, it must be strictly construed. o Here, Contrary to appellees' argument, the conduct suspected in this case is not within the purview of OCGA § 16814 (a), which defines shoplifting. Appellants were not suspected of shoplifting but rather of passing counterfeit currency. Accordingly, OCGA § 51760 does not provide a ground for the entry of summary judgment in favor of *157 Super Discount. The evidence reflects without dispute that Devens did not instruct or urge Mumford to arrest or detain appellants based upon her judgment that the bill was counterfeit. Even assuming appellants are correct that there is some evidence Devens herself was responsible for a detention of sufficient length to meet the requirements of a claim for false imprisonment, no evidence exists that any such detention was in any way unlawful. Although Devens mistakenly suspected the bill was counterfeit, there is no dispute it was an honest mistake on her part, and when she became suspicious, she immediately turned the matter over to the police. The court states "While it is certainly true that the owner of a business has a duty to protect its customers from injury caused by the tortious misconduct of its employees, the undisputed evidence refutes the existence of such misconduct in this case." CONCLUSION The trial court's judgment right for any reason was affirmed. Because any momentary detention by Devens was not unlawful, an essential element of appellant's case was negated, entitling Super Discount to summary judgment on that ground. Judgment affirmed. 2
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