Can I sue for being falsely accused and harassed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue for being falsely accused and harassed?

I was stopped in the parking lot by Kohl’s supposed security personnel. They falsely accused me of shoplifting. They didn’t give me their names or provide proof of employment name tag. Threatened to call the cops but didn’t. Didn’t even search my bag or purse, though I offered several times. Kept me against my will for several minutes. I exposed my skin to them in the middle of the parking lot to show proof I didn’t have their missing merchandise. And they still continued. Eventually I just left because I was tired of putting up with their lack of professionalism. I want to sue them because they cannot be going around falsely accusing people of crimes they did not commit. It’s embarrassing and I feel victimized.

Asked on October 5, 2016 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no recovery or compensation for embarassment or feeling victimized--those are not things that you can recover money or compensation for. If they accused you due to your race, religion, or national origin, they may have done something wrong, since the law specifically bars those kinds of discrimination in many public settings  (though if they did not discriminate you on such a basis, they may not have done anything legally wrong, no matter how unprofessional or unfair it was--the law does nto enforce professionalism or fairness); however, even if they were legally in the wrong, if you suffered nothing more than embarrassment and your feelings of being victimized, there's no practical point in suing--you'll spend more (in terms of time and money both) on the lawsuit than you'll get back.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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