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Consumer rights, false accusation, defamation of character

Ridgeland, MS |

1/24/14 ate at Apple Bees with a group of coworkers for lunch. I was accused of not paying my bill and my employer was contacted where i underwent questioning regarding the accussation. I informed my employer that i did pay to a staff member on duty with cash. A police report was never filed, by the establishment however i underwent questioning from my employer. I felt my reputation had been tarnished and caused embarrassment.for me. i just feel that my rights have been violated as a customer.

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Attorney answers 4


If the agent for Applebee's called your employer and specifically accused you of the crime of theft, without justification, the you may have a claim. A fall semester accusation of committing a crime is slander per se and the damage is obvious such that punitive recovery is available.

You should have an attorney follow up on this with a demand letter to Applebee's.

The answer I provide on AVVO is intended for academic, educational and informational purposes only, and it is based on the limited hypothetical you have provided. Do not rely on the information presented here. This is NOT a solicitation for business. NO attorney-client relationship is formed between you, the reader, and me, John Lyons. By using this information you agree that you are not represented by Lyons Law Firm, PLLC or attorney John Lyons. There is NO attorney-client privilege of confidentiality formed in answering this question, and you the reader agree there is no expectation of the same. The law is always changing and may not always apply to your facts tomorrow as it does today. ALWAYS consult a licensed attorney in your state before acting on any information you read.

John Joseph Lyons

John Joseph Lyons


Sorry, my stupid stupid phone's auto correct mucked up my answer... My reply should read, "A false accusation of committing a crime is slander per se. "



Thank you so much. i will seek legal representation.


Know that defamation lawyers typically want $5000 up front just to begin a defamation case, and without significant damages, the case could cost you thousands more than you recover, if anything, but it's your money to spend how to like. Good luck.


If the agent of Apple Bees made a false statement that injured your character then you could have a claim. Remember however, that defamation suits are difficult to pursue and damages are difficult to assess and collect.

I have been successful in these cases in the past, but I do warn that recovery is not usually high without tangible lost wages or medical bills. Feel free to contact an attorney about your rights

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but instead need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice.


From the limited facts and without knowing more, I don't see that it is worth pursuing a lawsuit. Sorry. However, the best way to get retribution is not to patronize the establishment anymore.

Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in the law firm of Pepper & Odom, P.C. Nothing posted here constitutes any attorney client relationship and is meant for educational purposes only. Office hours are 8:00 a.m till 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 601-914-9219 Facsimile: 888-456-2160

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