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2007-02-10
Reno,NV. Walgreens Faces Racial Slur Lawsuit

Four black men from Texas are suing the convenience store chain, charging that a clerk referred to them as "niggers." The incident happened when the men complained about the quality of a photograph processed at a Reno, Nevada store in February 2003. The men charge that the Walgreen's clerk shouted a racial slur, slammed a door and refused them service. Their case is in court now, and their lawyer has asked the jury to award them $2.5 million to send a message to corporate headquarters that such discrimination will not be condoned. The Associated Press reports that the plaintiffs' lawyer says Walgreen's did not properly investigate the racial incident. "You're going to learn there was no investigation, just an attempt to protect the company in case they were sued," the attorney said. "The evidence you will hear will justify a verdict of at least $2.5 million because of what Walgreens did, what they knew and what they didn't do after the fact. We're also going to ask you to impose damages to punish Walgreens. The evidence will show this is a different type of harm. It will show that if the value you place on that harm is not high, it will keep on happening." The attorney for Walgreen's told the jurors, "what happened here was a bad customer service situation. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever the 'N-word' was used." But the plaintiffs assert that the Walgreen's worker appeared to be agitated because he had been busy and was two hours late for his lunch break. When one of the men complained about the quality of the photos, the clerk informed him Walgreens policy was to refund money only if the problem was in the processing. According to the plaintiff's lawyer, the clerk then "gets mad, slams his hand down and says (to another worker) 'You go help those niggers. I'm going home.'"

What you can do: Walgreen's says this incident is just an example of "bad customer service." What else can they say? This case, which started at the photo processing section of the store, is definitely not the kind of "photo opportunity" Walgreen's corporate was posing for. For earlier related stories, search Newsflash by "Walgreens."










 
 
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