(CN) – Wal-Mart is not responsible for the actions of a bored cashier who started throwing items at a customer, including a bag containing shoes and shampoo, a New York appeals court ruled.
Michael Burlarley and his wife were checking out from the Kingston Wal-Mart when the cashier starting ringing up the items at outrageously high prices as a joke. The cashier also threw items at Burlarley. He was not amused and told her to stop.
She did at first, but then she threw a bag containing shoes and shampoo, hitting Burlarley in the face.
He sued Wal-Mart, which moved to dismiss the complaint because the cashier was not “acting within the scope of her employment.”
The trial court ruled for Wal-Mart, and so did the Albany-based 3rd Appellate Division.
“In our view, (the lower) court properly concluded that throwing a full bag of heavy items at an unsuspecting customer’s face as a ‘joke’ is not commonly done by a cashier, and indeed, substantially departs from a cashier’s normal methods of performance,” Justice Thomas Mercure wrote.