The 10 Biggest Dollar General Lawsuits in Company History

Dollar General

Dollar General Corporation is an American discount retailer which sells consumable items, home products, apparel, and seasonal items. The company has more than 18,000 easy-to-shop stores in 47 states, and General sells products from almost all the leading trusted brands. Some include Clorox, Energizer, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, and Unilever. Since entering existence in 1939, the company has been sued several times. In this article, we shall examine the most significant lawsuits.

Tracking of Lawsuits against Dollar General

Over the years, Dollar General has been sued by state agencies, individuals, and other companies. The majority of the state and class lawsuits have not favored the company. Violation Tracker offers a public platform on which willing public members can view how different companies have been either sued or have their violation of the law. It highlights the following areas as the ones in which Dollar General has been sued.

  • Workplace health and safety offenses.
  • Employment practice and discrimination offenses.
  • Accounting offenses.
  • Environment violations offenses.
  • Consumer protection-related offenses.

The chances of the company committing the above offenses are as listed. Several factors have been used to determine the greatest of a lawsuit. Media and federal government involvement in legal matters will increase public awareness of the proceeding. The case will call for more scrutiny when the suing party is an employee, the aged, or persons with a disability. The final judgment, lawsuits whose results are heavy fines, will attract the media’s attention. In addition to the case’s precedence, creating a complex web that defines a lawsuit’s importance in a company’s history suits the company that it has ever been embroiled in.

10. Jane Doe Versus Dollar General, A Respect to Privacy Case ($25,000)

In April 2022, Jane Doe reported that her former manager Cody Crouch had installed hidden cameras in the unisex washrooms. She stated that the cameras could record customers and employees without their consent. Her attorney stated that while attending the washrooms, she managed to look up, only to see something sparkling on the ceiling. A further investigation revealed that that was a hidden camera. After noticing the camera, she immediately informed her boss, who started destroying the device. The woman called the police, and the manager was arrested and charged with using an electronic device to capture and distribute the image of other persons without their consent. The former employee sued the company with the manager for invasion of privacy, violation of state provisions prohibiting sexual harassment at public accommodations, and inflicting emotional distress on Jane.

9. An Assistant Manager Versus Dollar General, A Case of Sexual Harassment ($50,000)

In a case by the EEOC, a store manager at Dollar General’s store at Rock Hall, Md., was accused of subjecting an assistant manager to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The assistant manager had complained to the EEOC that on several occasions, the manager had gripped her head, ripped her blouse, and rubbed her shoulders without her consent. When the lady reported the matter to Dollar General, it transferred her to another store in Chestertown instead of the company solving the issue. The company entered a consent decree to pay the assistant manager $50,000 as monetary relief. It also compelled Dollar General to provide training to all managers on the provisions on al sexual harassment and report the matter to the EEOC subsequently.

8. Terri Mosley Vs. Dollar General- A Case of Failing to Grant Interview to an Aged Applicant ($70,000)

In a case filed by the EEOC, around September 2015, Terri Mosley applied for a position as a sales associate at a Dollar General Store in Portal, Ga. According to her, she used to shop at the store regularly. She had her hand injured in an automobile accident two years before the incident. When Terri appeared for an interview, the manager failed to interview her, saying that he did not know whether it was her and that Terri could not work at the store with her injured hand.

Terri said that the manager’s words, ‘I did not know it was you,’ amounted to ridicule for her age. It was the position of the EEOC such statements amounted to unfair grounds not to offer her an employment opportunity. The store owner was compelled by the court to pay $70,000. In addition, the decree was that Dollar General offers its staff training on the ADA’s contents and requirements.

7. Michael King Vs. Dollar General, Physical Assault of a Customer by its Employees ($500,000)

According to WALB News, in 2021, in a video posted on Facebook, one could hear Michael King shouting that he could not breathe while a company employee was seated on him. Family lawyers informed the public that King was hospitalized after the incident. In his defense, the employee stated that he had suspected that King was stilling. Human rights activists claimed this was another incident where the company discriminated against African Americans.

King’s attorneys said they were not only suing the employee but also Dollar General for more than $500,000 in damages. This lawsuit was an absolute nightmare for the company because it was already facing scrutiny from the EEOC for failing to give equal employment opportunities to African Americans. Before going to court, the law firm for King had tried to reach out to Dollar General, but all was in vain. On several occasions, the company behaved the same when faced with legal issues.

6. Timothy Ray Ramos Vs. Dollar General, A case of Neglecting Employee’s Security ($1 million)

Negligence is one of the areas in which Dollar General has been sued on different occasions. On November 21, 2017, Ramos, who was working at the San Antonio, Texas, store, was robbed while working in the store. The same incident repeated itself on November 9, 2018, only that Ramos was shot several times by the robber this time round.

When asked by media houses about the suit, the company spokesperson alleged that they could not comment on their employees’ security and safety in public to avoid compromising the company’s security systems. He did so without giving specifics on what happened to Ramos. The complaint wanted a $1 million compensation for sustained injuries and psychological disturbance. Nathaniel Alexander Pavini, Hector Fabian Aguliar, and Kameron Antony Green, the three robbers alleged to have injured Ramos, were also sued. For long, Dollar General store chains such as Family Dollar and Dollar Tree have been found to have common in-store violent incidents.

5. Deborah Revette Vs. Dollar General, a Slip-and-Fall Case ($1.7 million)

In one of the most daring acts to hold Dollar General more accountable on safety issues, 60-year-old Deborah Revette filed a suit against Dollar General. By July 2012, alleging that the company store at Three Notch Road left the floor with some detergents, which made her slip and fail. In the process, she sustained leg and shoulder injuries. She was later treated through several surgeries and used almost half a million dollars for her treatment.

Her lawyers maintained that it was the store’s responsibility to ensure no form spills on the floor. The presiding judge, Youngpeter, attempted to allow the parties to resolve the matter out of court two times, but it bore no results. After a lengthy trial, a jury settled the matter and awarded Deborah $1,725,000. The company thus filed an appeal against the decision, and without giving a reason, the Supreme Court of Alabama affirmed the lower court’s decision.

4. Dollar General Vs. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians ($2.5 million)

In one of the most controversial lawsuits, the Supreme Court was caught up in determining the authority of tribal courts and expounding on their sovereignty. The Dollar General was operating a store on tribal trust land owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The company agreed to offer internship opportunities to youths from the tribe as part of community goodwill. John Doe, one of the beneficiaries, alleged that he was sexually molested by one of the managers in the store.

Doe sued the manager, and the company claimed to be paid $2.5 million in damages at the Tribal Court. The respondents filed motions to dismiss the case claiming that the Tribe Court had no jurisdiction over the matter. The Tribal Court dismissed the matter, and the United States Court of Appeals later supported its position. Feeling aggrieved, Dollar General moved to Supreme Court to contest the lower court’s decision. However, in a 4-4 decision, the court agreed that Tribal Courts are part of the judicial system and can independently hear and determine such cases.

3. EEOC vs. Dollar General- Race Discrimination Suit ($6 million)

EEOC established that Dollar General failed to offer equal employment opportunities to African Americans at a higher rate than whites. More African Americans were victims of the company’s comprehensive background screening. The company agreed to pay a $6 million suit to settle a class race discrimination suit filed by EEOC in 2020.

Before filing the suit, the EEOC attempted to solve the matter amicably with the company, but it failed. Pressed against the wall, Dollar General signed a consent to pay the amounts, which the EEOC later used to settle claims raised by prospective employees between 2004 and 2019. The consent had also placed legal obligations to Dollar General to reevaluate its background checks system and, more importantly, include a way to communicate to applicants why they failed in an interview. In addition, the court instructed the company to report the changes to EEOC for confirmation and further deliberations.

2. Wanda Womack & Others Vs. Dollar General, A Gender Bias Case ($19 million)

In one of the most tedious and complex class lawsuits, Wanda Womack led more than 2000 female employees of Dollar General to sue the company for being paid salaries that were gender discriminative. Collectively, the women argued that their male counterparts in the same positions earned more than they did. The women were drawn from the majority of the stores in the U.S. According to Law360, to avoid public scrutiny in its operations, the company offered to pay them settlements of $ 18.75 million in addition to legal fees. In placing the relief grant, the company also promised to review its salary structures to ensure they were the same for both male and female employees.

1. Shareholders Vs. Dollar General, a Takeover Litigation (A takeover fee of $6.9 billion)

In 2007, against the wish of many shareholders, Dollar General announced that its board of Directors had decided to be acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. BLB & G filed a class suit against the company board of directors on the proposed acquisition. They also joined KKR, citing it for helping the directors commit the irregularities. Shareholders argued that the board had agreed to a lower value for the company. The main issue was that Dollar General was a publicly-owned company, and purchasing a private entity would not promote its business practices. The shareholders largely termed the deal illegal and accused the board of breaching its fiduciary responsibilities.

What Dollar General Should Do to Avoid Future Lawsuits

From the analysis of all the lawsuits, there are some steps that Dollar General should take to avoid future legal suits. Foremost it must train its managers on handling customer complaints as they await further directions from the legal team. The company must re-examine its compliance teams because that has been the main contention between the company and federal agencies and encourage the creation of a room for employees to air their grievances through the trade union.

Some cases are related to health and safety issues; Dollar General must ensure that internal and statutory inspections are intensively conducted. There must be an immediate establishment of an internal dispute resolution unit dedicated to solving customer grievances. The company also must review its grievance procedure and revise its internal disciplinary mechanisms to instill more punitive measures to employees who are found engaging in malpractice. In taking all these steps, the company must consult consumer protection agencies to avoid rolling out policies that may cause a public uproar.

In Conclusion

Lawsuits are almost impossible to avoid, but we can minimize them. Dollar General must realize that if it does not take drastic changes to seal the law violation gaps, it will continue to get more lawsuits due to more consumer enlightenment. In addition, it can still engage an independent contractor’s services to determine these cases’ impact on consumer perception. Where the company finds tight evidence against it, it should encourage using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms other than the use of courts.

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