Fired Walmart employee sues company for defamation

Jon Campisi May 25, 2012, 9:31am

A Philadelphia woman who alleges she was fired from her job at Walmart after being falsely accused of stealing merchandise has filed a defamation suit against the corporation in state court.

Gwenszetta Graham claims in her lawsuit, which was filed May 11 at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Timothy R. Hough, that her supervisors at the Walmart store at 4600 Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia defamed her when they terminated her employment for allegedly stealing items by conspiring to under-ring the cost of such merchandise at the time of checkout.

Graham worked as a full-time customer service representative at the store from 2002 until 2008, after which she became a part-time worker.

The plaintiff was fired on May 11, 2011.

The lawsuit claims that at no time did Graham “steal or misappropriate any merchandise at her place of employment with the Defendants; the accusations made were false.”

The complaint claims that the accusations leveled against Graham, which other employees got wind of, were completely false, and constitute slander.

“The Defendants in this matter abused any available privilege when their employees, agents and/or contractors made false accusations about the Plaintiff stealing because they allegations were made with reckless disregard for the truth and/or were made by Defendant’s agents without using reasonable care to determine the truth of the statements,” the lawsuit states.

As a result of her firing, Graham has suffered a loss of earnings, she has experienced emotional distress and she has suffered damage to her reputation, the suit claims.

In addition to an accusation of defamation, the lawsuit also claims that the defendants violated Graham’s right of privacy by placing her in a false light before the eyes of her fellow employees and supervisors.

“As a direct and proximate result of the actions of defendants acting through their agents the Plaintiff suffered great embarrassment and mental pain and anguish including having to explain the circumstances surrounding her separation from employment, all to her great detriment,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit additionally contains a third count of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

For each of the counts listed, Graham seeks judgment against the defendants in a sum in excess of $50,000, plus other court relief deemed appropriate.

The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial.


The case ID number is 120500963. 

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