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What’s that got to do with the Price of Fish?

Clarke v Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd [2012] NSWDC 107

An Australian man has been awarded more than AUS $50,000 after being wrongly accused of stealing 500g of prawns by a supermarket manager.

In front of a crowd of roughly 30 shoppers, the store manager alleged that Mr Clarke collected prawns from the seafood section of the store then ate them whilst completing his shopping. Mr Clarke’s position, however, was that during his shopping he opened the packet and decided that he required more prawns than he had originally thought, returned to the seafood section, and passed the opened packet back to the counter assistant.

Following the confrontation, the embarrassed Mr Clarke sued Coles Supermarkets for “defamation, injurious falsehood, assault, intimidation, harassment and wrongful imprisonment”. Although the claims were vigorously contested by Coles Supermarkets, the judge preferred the evidence of Mr Clarke and awarded him $40,000.00 in compensatory damages and $10,000.00 for aggravated general damages.

 For more information on this developing area of the law, please contact Lewis McDonald.


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