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Padlo v. VG’s Food Center, Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
2005 WL 3556245 (2005)


Michael Floeter was an employee at VG’s Food Center (VG) (defendant). Floerter observed Darla Padlo (plaintiff) and Cassandra Green standing around the cosmetics section of the store, looking around suspiciously. Floeter testified that he saw at least one of the girls put something in her pocket. Floeter then saw the girls in another aisle unwrapping items. Both Floeter and another employee observed Padlo attempting to shield Green as Green unwrapped and concealed items. Floeter notified his manager, Cheryl Bingham, that he suspected the girls had committed theft. Bingham confronted the girls after she observed them removing several cosmetic items from the shelves and putting them in their pockets. Upon being confronted the Bingham, the girls began to cry. Green then removed several items from her pockets. Padlo removed all of her personal items from her pockets, but she did not have any VG merchandise. Bingham then reached into Padlo’s pockets herself to check for merchandise. Bingham directed the girls into an office in a different part of the store while they waited for police to arrive. The blinds in the office were closed. Bingham and another VG employee stayed in the office with the girls, while Floeter stood near the doorway. Padlo tried to call her mother on her cell phone, but Bingham took the phone away. When the police officer arrived, he took the employees’ statements and then arrested the girls for retail fraud. A jury found Padlo not guilty of the charge. Padlo then filed suit against VG and its employees for false imprisonment and battery. VG filed a motion for summary judgment., arguing that its employers were justified in confining Padlo.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Borman, J.)

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