The Associated Press reported today that Wal-Mart will appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court the award of $8.5 million to a former company worker who had been accused of shoplifting tobacco. Lamon Griggs, who lives in Chickasaw County, was fired in 1997 from his Wal-Mart job as a truck driver and accident investigator at a Wal-Mart in Hammond, Louisiana. Wal-Mart fired Griggs over an alleged shop-lifting incident. Griggs charged that Wal-Mart had defamed him, and he took them to court. Last September, 2002, the Chickaswa Circuit Court agreed with Griggs, and ruled against Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart then appealed to the Circuit Court to throw out the verdict, or order a new trial. The Judge Andrew Howorth refused to throw out the defamation award, so Wal-Mart is taking the case to the state’s Supreme Court. “He didn’t deserve one penny,” Wal-Mart’s attorney told the Associated Press. Wal-Mart continues to allege that it did nothing wrong, and that the $8.5 million award to Griggs was “excessive and shocks the conscience.” Wal-Mart did not ask the Judget to lower the verdict, and the court is not likely to lower the award unless Wal-Mart pushes for
Wal-Mart’s motto in dealing with its “associates” is “respect for the individual.” After Lamon Griggs sued Wal-Mart for defamation, the company apparently still didn’t “respect” their former worker’s guts in standing up to the company over his firing for a shoplifting charge. For more examples of how Wal-Mart “respects” its own workforce, search this database by the word “employee”.