Can you sue a company for their employee humiliating a customer?

Asked over 3 years ago - Johnson City, TN

I am a regular customer at a local grocery store. I shop at this store almost daily, and on a certain day I entered the store, which I purchased 250.00 dollars worth of groceries that day; an emploee come up to me in front of the entire store without warning and in a rude, loud way, said did you purchase that drink thats in your purse before coming in this store, I replied that I had, and then told her how rude she was for treating me that way. She continued to be rude, and didn't even apologize. I am a very decent person, and I feel that not only did she make a false accusation, but she is also guilty of deflimation of my character.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. L. Maxwell Taylor

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You can't sue people for being rude. Rude behavior is not actionable unless it is also unlawful.

    As a matter of general law, shopkeepers can investigate whether someone is stealing from their premises. Sometimes they are going to be right, and sometimes they are going to be wrong.

    Could this employee have asked you politely? Certainly. Did she do anything that gives you the right to sue her or her employer? No. Did she defame you? No. She asked you if you paid for the drink in your purse. She's entitled to ask you that.

    Not legal advice as I don't practice law in Tennessee. It's just my two cents on the facts you present in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Tennessee licensure.

    Good luck.

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