Dolgencorp, LLC v. SpenceAnnotate this Case
Dolgencorp, LLC appealed the judgment entered on a jury verdict in the amount of $100,000 in favor of Michelle Spence in her action arising from her arrest for shoplifting. The charges against Spence were dismissed after two court appearances because no witnesses appeared to testify against her. Following a two-day trial, the jury returned a general verdict in favor of Spence and against Dolgencorp in the amount of $100,000 in compensatory damages. Dolgencorp appealed the denial of its renewed motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (JML) and motion for a new trial. After review, the Supreme Court determined that the malicious-prosecution and defamation claims were improperly submitted to the jury. Dolgencorp submitted a motion for a JML specifically directed to the various claims; that motion was denied. "We cannot assume that the verdict was based only on those of Spence's claims that were properly submitted to the jury. Accordingly, the judgment based on the jury verdict for Spence must be reversed." The case was remanded for a new trial on Spence's claims that were properly submitted to the jury, i.e., negligent training, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, and assault and battery. The Court reversed the judgment for Spence and remanded the case to the trial court for the entry of a JML in favor of Dolgencorp on Spence's claims of malicious prosecution and defamation and for a new trial on Spence's remaining claims of negligent training, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, and assault and battery.