Costco receipt-checking lawsuit: What do readers and Oregon law say about stopping shoppers? (poll)

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

Costco earns top marks in a Consumer Reports poll ranking retail chains

Costco Wholesale’s receipt-checking policy states: “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse.” (Oregonian/file photo)

A story about a Costco Wholesale shopper who wouldn’t show his receipt as he was leaving the chain’s Northeast Portland store — and ultimately ended up with a broken leg — has generated lots of debate among readers and civil attorneys alike.

Timothy Walls filed a $670,000 lawsuit last week against Costco, claiming store employees wrongly held onto his shopping cart — full of his newly purchased items — when he refused to show his receipt. The store has a blanket policy of checking receipts at the exit.

When Walls tried to remove one employee from his shopping cart by grabbing onto the employee’s shirt collar, a second employee executed a martial-arts style strike to Walls’ leg, breaking it in several places, according to the suit.

The details of the case have spurred many readers to wonder exactly when a store can detain and search a customer as part of loss-prevention efforts — and just what a customer’s rights are.

Nearly 5,000 votes had been cast in an poll, and three out of four respondents were siding with Costco — that stores should be able to have blanket receipt-checking policies in an effort to prevent…

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