The Richmond Register

Local News

July 3, 2010

Suit against Kohl’s sent back to local court

RICHMOND — A lawsuit involving a Berea woman and a local store of a national chain has been returned to Madison Circuit Court by a federal judge.

Shannon Broughton filed a lawsuit against Kohl’s Department Stores in April alleging she was wrongly accused of shoplifting and humiliated while shopping at the chain’s Richmond store in late March.

The suit alleged Kohl’s employees detained her as she attempted to leave after purchasing merchandise and accused her of shoplifting.

Broughton claimed that despite providing proof of her purchases, employees continued to detain her.

According to the suit, Broughton “was restrained by Kohl’s openly and obviously in the store in an unreasonable manner and for an unreasonable period of time.”

Broughton also was forced to remove her clothing while she was detained, causing embarrassment and humiliation.

No criminal complaint was ever filed, according to Richmond police.

Attorneys for Kohl’s Department Stores had sought to have the case moved to U.S. District Court in Lexington, and the case was transferred May 28.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman issued an order June 10 remanding the case back to Madison Circuit Court because it did not meet all the requirements to be a federal case.

Specifically, Coffman cited a filing by Broughton’s attorney certifying that Broughton was seeking less than $75,000 in the suit, which put it below the threshold for federal jurisdiction despite the fact Kohl’s is a Wisconsin corporation.

 Attorneys for Kohl’s filed a four-page response to the suit in federal court denying Broughton’s allegations and claiming that any acts Kohl’s employees took were in compliance with the law.

A hearing date for the case in Madison Circuit Court has not been scheduled, according to court records.

The case was originally assigned to Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse.

Brian Smith may be reached at bsmith@richmondregister.com or at 624-6694. For breaking news, follow Brian at www.twitter.com/RR_BSmith.

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