Remember Steve Martin’s old joke about how to have a million dollars and not pay taxes? First, he said, get a million dollars.
Donnell Battie has found a way to do just that.
Battie, from Winslow, New Jersey, is suing the Wal-Mart on the Black Horse Pike because a sixteen-year-old boy sneaked into the room where the PA microphone was and announced over the intercom, “Attention, Wal-Mart customers. All black people must leave the store.” Claiming that Wal-Mart was negligent, careless, reckless and showed deliberate indifference in not controlling access to the PA system, Battie alleges that he has suffered from depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, paranoia, and anti-social tendencies from the aftermath of the incident.
A Wal-Mart manager responded quickly after the intercom statement, the police came and arrested the sixteen-year-old responsible, but Battie’s lawyer, John Klamo, asserted that the damage had been done:
Mr Battie is an individual who has been under care of a doctor for various disabilities dealing with his psychological makeup. He's in Wal-Mart and something of this nature presents its ugly head and brings up past situations in his life that affected him.
Mr. Klamo did admit, however, that Battie had, previous to the incident, been seeking help for previous incidents that had caused him social unease.
Wal-Mart was shocked and has already moved to see it won’t happen again.
Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for the company, said:
We were appalled by this incident and are amazed that anyone could be so backward and mean-spirited in this day and age. We are sorry it happened and apologized at the time to any of our customers and associates who heard it. We updated our intercom system in this store to prevent this from happening in the future.