YOU CAN BE LEGALLY ASSAULTED FOR MAKING A MISTAKE ON A SELF-CHECKOUT MACHINE Attorney Dayrell Scrivner of Scrivner Law Firm, LLC, in Branson, Missouri
YOU CAN BE LEGALLY ASSAULTED FOR MAKING A MISTAKE ON A SELF-CHECKOUT MACHINE
Self- checkout lanes have become a way of life for most Americans. These machines speed up the checkout process and reduce the store’s costs, leading to cheaper prices for their customers. These advantages, however, have created scary new dangers to shoppers.
Customers throughout the country have been detained and even assaulted by store employees for mistakes made while using the self-checkout scanners. To their surprise, even after being proven innocent of any crimes, there is very little they can do to address the false accusations, humiliation, and even physical assaults they endured.
Missouri Statute 537.125 gives stores civil and criminal immunity to detain customers based on “reasonable grounds” that they are committing a crime. There is no set time limit on how long they can keep you other than for a “reasonable” manner and period that it takes them to investigate the matter and then to notify and wait for law enforcement if they choose to do so.
Attorney Dayrell Scrivner of Scrivner Law Firm, LLC, in Branson, Missouri takes things one step further. “Courts in Missouri have ruled that you cannot sue a store for being wrongly accused and held. Worse, you cannot sue them for assault or battery they committed during the detention, even if you were completely innocent.”
Shoppers have been publicly accused and physically detained by force for such simple mistakes as failure to properly scan an item, scanning the wrong bar code on an item or placing an item in the wrong bag during the checkout process. Scrivner Law Firm, LLC has successfully represented local clients who have been detained, questioned and eventually charged with theft simply because the checkout machine did not function properly or an item did not scan in properly.
For these reasons, Dayrell Scrivner advises his clients to avoid self-checkout lanes. While he knows that many people will continue to use these lanes, he has a word of advice for shoppers, “If you go through the self-checkout, just take a few extra minutes to make sure you have correctly scanned your items and everything rang up right on the monitor. It’s much better to spend a few extra minutes going over your purchases than to risk the embarrassment and hassle of being accused and physically detained by the store security.”