N.J. man sues Wal-Mart for $1 million over intercom bias incident

Donnell Battie was in a South Jersey Walmart when he heard a public announcement that “All black people should leave the store.”

It didn’t come from a store employee; it was a teen shopper who picked up the PA intercom. The teen was  prosecuted for bias intimidation.

Now, two years later, Battie has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., claiming the company failed to prevent teens from accessing the intercom of the store in Washington Township.

“Wal-Mart knew this kind of activity was happening in the past and they did little if anything … to stop it,” says Battie’s lawyer, John Klamo. Klamo says his client cannot put the matter behind him because he suffered  trauma as a result of the incident.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said in a statement that the company apologized for the incident at the time and updated its intercom system to prevent a reoccurence.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal