From Iceland — Awarded Damages For False Shoplifting Accusation

Awarded Damages For False Shoplifting Accusation

Published March 11, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

A family falsely accused of shoplifting hair dye were awarded damages in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Vísir reports that a woman, her daughter, the woman’s brother and her sister’s children were stopped by employees as they were about to exit a Bónus supermarket. The group were accused of having shoplifted hair dye from a cosmetics section, and made to empty their pockets and bags.

In all, the search took about half an hour, and was conducted in full view of other customers during peak shopping hours. The incident was deeply embarrassing for the family, not least of all because they had stolen nothing.

While initially filing a suit against Hagar, the company which owns Bónus, and asking for 5 million ISK in damages, Reykjavík District Court ruled in favour of Hagar. The family then appealed the matter to the Supreme Court.

The court ruled that while companies have some amount of room for preventing theft and shoplifting, any measures they take must be conducted within a reasonable framework. In the court’s opinion, Bónus crossed the line. As such, the family has been awarded 200,000 ISK to each member of the family.

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