Del. SC sides with Wal-Mart in discrimination case

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 19, 2011, 12:13pm


DOVER, Del. (Legal Newsline) - The Delaware Supreme Court last week affirmed a judgment in favor of retail giant Wal-Mart.

The Court, in its 3-page order, agreed with Wal-Mart that a customer who accused it of discrimination didn't have enough evidence.

The customer, Majed Subh, had filed an appeal with the Court following a superior court's dismissal of his appeal based on a decision from the Human Relations Commission. Subh alleged he had been discriminated against based on his national origin while at a store in New Castle, Del.

Subh asserted he had been denied service on his tires, which were covered under warranty, by a Wal-Mart employee at the store in December 2008.

However, the commission had concluded, after an August 2009 hearing, that Subh had failed to establish a prima facie claim of discrimination by Wal-Mart.

He could not, according to Court documents, specify the time or date of the incident or describe the employee who had denied service.

He also could not say if there were other customers in front of or behind him who were offered service when he was not.

More importantly, Subh could not identify any statements or evidence to substantiate his claim that he was denied service because of his national origin.

In fact, the man testified that he thought he was denied service because the Wal-Mart employee mistakenly believed that Subh had a no-contact order in place against him.

According to Court documents, Subh previously had been an employee of Wal-Mart. After he left Wal-Mart's employment, the man apparently was court-ordered to have no contact with the retail chain, until that order expired in October 2008.

Justice Randy J. Holland, who authored the Court's opinion, wrote that the man "simply offered no evidence on the record to establish a prima facie claim that he was discriminated against."

Accordingly, the Court ruled that the commission did not err in dismissing Subh's complaint, and that the Superior Court did not err in dismissing Subh's appeal.

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