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Shoplifter can't sue over broken collar bone; Kohl's not subject to statutory limit on use of force

Sarah Stolicker admitted that she had shoplifted in the Oakland County Kohl's Department Store.  Nevertheless, she brought an injury claim against the store and security agent Darryl Duncan after Duncan allegedly tacked her in the parking lot and fractured her collar bone.  She cited that Michigan statute that limits private retail securiity employees to "reasonable force" in effecting arrests.  Stolicker argued that by exceeding reasonable force in tackling her, Duncan and his employer could be held responsible for their share of her medical expenses on a comparative fault basis. 

The Court majority disagreed.  It held that since she was engaged in wrongful conduct, she forfeited any right to pursue an injury claim.  It also refused to apply the statute cited by Stolicker; the two judges implicitly decided that this statute applies only to "suspected" shoplifters but did not limit the force used to detain admitted shoplifters.  The dissenting judge pointed out that the majority decision did not follow existing Supreme Court holdings, the language of the "reasonable force" statute or the statute adopting comparative fault.

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