When Donnell Battie heard the announcement at a Wal-Mart store inNew Jersey telling “All blacks to leave the store”, he says he suffered emotional distress. He says the announcement led to depression, anxiety, anger, loss of sleep and appetite, paranoia, anti-social tendencies and loss of enjoyment in activities. He has now filed a lawsuit for $1million against the company.
Battie says Wal-Mart was negligent, careless and reckless and showed deliberate indifference by failing to properly control access to the P.A. system.
The lawsuit stems from a March 14, 2010, incident at the Wal-Mart store in the Washington Township, N.J. Someone hijacked the store’s PA system and announced: “Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now.”
A store manager quickly went on the intercom system and apologized for the remark, and police were called. According to media reports at the time. A 16-year-old was later arrested on harassment and bias intimidation charges.
Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart spokesman, declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but told msnbc.com:
“We were appalled by this incident and are amazed that anyone could be so backward and mean-spirited in this day and age. We are sorry it happened and apologized at the time to any of our customers and associates who heard it. We updated our intercom system in this store to prevent this from happening in the future.”
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