Yesterday a West Virginia jury awarded almost $17 million to a 52 year old woman injured during the chase to capture a fleeing shoplifter at a local Walmart's. It was claimed that Walmart failed to follow industry best practices and its own internal policies regarding the detention of shoplifters. Apparently the shoplifter was being chased by Walmart employees when he ran into the plaintiff's shopping cart which then tumbled on top of her causing injuries to her intestines which resulted in 20 hospital admissions. Today the plaintiff is dependent on an ilieostomy for waste removal and a special feeding procedure tor nutrition.
The jury found the shoplifter 70% at fault and Walmart 30% responsible. Under West Virginia's law at the time of this incident, Walmart may be held 100% liable for all damages as the shoplifter is judgment proof. Ankrom v Walmart, Wood County, West Virginia.