What to do if my mother-in law owns a small gas station and has had issues with money and merchandise being stolen?

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What to do if my mother-in law owns a small gas station and has had issues with money and merchandise being stolen?

She had suspected a employee of the theft and was “holding out” hoping she would quit so she wouldn’t have to fire her(a long time family friend). Well she quit on her own after hearing she was being accused of theft. She threw the key at my MIL and called her names in front of customers, then a few hours later her mother came in and raised quite a scene. She is now going around spending some pretty nasty rumors. Can anything be done? My MIL is now afraid of going to work. I should also say this woman is calling other employees and canceling their shift at the store.

Asked on August 4, 2013 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are several possibilities, which your MIL should ideally discuss with an attorney in detail, to see which are best:

1)  Sue this person for defamation (spreading false statements of fact which put your MIL in a bad light);

2) Sue her for tortious interference with economic advantage--using defamation and the calls to other employees to harm your MIL's business);

3) Sue her for  any thing/money your MIL believes was stolen;

4) Go to the police and press charges for theft and/or report that the woman is stealing people's identity, if she's pretending to be either your MIL or the other employees when she calls to cancel shifts;

5) Seek a protective/restrainting order.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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