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Jury Orders Kmart to Pay $4 Million Over Shoplifting Accusation

September 16, 1995

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ A jury has awarded $4 million to two women who contended Kmart Corp. falsely accused them of shoplifting.

Deborah Cameron and Sonya Perdue were charged with shoplifting in March 1993 while returning a shower curtain and draperies. They were convicted, but acquitted on appeal.

They filed a civil lawsuit, claiming false arrest and malicious prosecution, after a Kmart employee admitted that her district manager, Doug Sharp, ordered her to lie about seeing them steal the merchandise, said Jim Morgan, an attorney for the shoppers.

Kmart attorney Mark Boardman declined Friday to say whether the Troy, Mich.-based discount giant would appeal the $4 million verdict.

Morgan claimed Kmart had something of a quota system in which security personnel were encouraged to make four shoplifting ``stops″ a week.

Boardman denied the company set quotas for its security personnel. He said Kmart had put the two women on a list of people returning large amounts of merchandise for refunds, and Sharp was notified they were in his store.

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