Teenager wrongly accused of not paying for a can of Coca Cola awarded €9,000
A judge has approved a €9,000 damages settlement offered to a teenager who was pulled back into a Tesco store and wrongly accused of not paying for a can of Coca Cola.
Barrister Maeve Cox told Judge John O’Connor in the Circuit Civil Court today that 15-year-old Luke Wall had also been falsely imprisoned in a small room while security checked CCTV coverage of the alleged theft on December 30, 2018.
Ms Cox, who appeared with John O’Leary Solicitors, said that despite the boy having insisted he had paid for the beverage at the self-service checkout in Tesco, The Square, Tallaght, he had been grabbed by the arm and pulled back into the store.
She said he had been kept in a small room with another security guard while the CCTV had been checked and it had been established he had paid for the item.
Judge O’Connor heard that Luke, of Brookview Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24 had been subjected to an embarrassing ordeal as a result of defamatory statements having been made against him in front of a friend and a number of other customers in the store.
Luke, through his father Patrick Wall, had sued Tesco Ireland Ltd and security company OCS, One Complete Solution, Unit 38 Airways Industrial Estate, Swords Road, Santry,Dublin, for damages for defamation and false imprisonment.
Ms Cox told the court that when Luke had told his father in the car park about the incident his dad had gone into Tesco and had asked the security man for his name but he had refused to identify himself.
She said the security man involved in the incident had said to Luke: “Come back in here, you didn’t pay for that item,” grabbed him and then pulled him back into Tesco. Five minutes later the guard had said to him: “I see you did pay for the item. I’m sorry I didn’t check the CCTV first”, the court heard.
Judge O’Connor, approving the €9,000 settlement, said he considered the offer to be reasonable in the circumstances. The boy’s legal team was also awarded Circuit Court costs.