Defense Verdict in Costco Battery Case

Walls v. Costco, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV13139

Plaintiff Walls was attempting to exit Costco after shopping.  A Costco employee placed his hand on Walls’ cart and asked to see his receipt, pursuant to the terms of Costco’s membership conditions.  After a verbal exchange, Walls grabbed the Costco employee by his shirt collar and shoved him into a pillar several feet away.  Another employee witnessed the altercation and kicked Walls’ feet out from under him, causing him to fall to the floor.  Walls alleged that Costco unlawfully detained him against his will and then committed a battery against him.  He claimed the battery caused him multiple leg fractures which required surgical repair.  He sought past and future medical expenses of $150,000, wage losses of $20,000 and non-economic damages of $500,000.

Defendant Costco alleged that their employee asked for Walls’ receipt and when Walls refused to produce it, he was in violation of the conditions set out in his Costco membership agreement. Costco claimed that the employee then called for a manager at which point Walls physically attacked the employee.  Costco maintained that the second employee acted reasonably in defense of the first employee.

Plaintiff’s Counsel – Grant Wenzlick and Clayton H. Morrison

Defense Counsel – William Stockton

Verdict – Defense Verdict

Date – November 19, 2015

November 23, 2015

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