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Walmart class-action pricing lawsuit gets green light

Walmart class-action pricing lawsuit gets green light

A U.S. Appeals Court in Illinois has found that a lawsuit accusing Walmart of deceptive pricing practices can proceed.

Yoran Kahn filed the federal suit in 2022, claiming that the shelf prices for several small items he purchased at a Walmart in Illinois were about 10-15% lower than the prices he was actually charged at the register. His attorneys also claim to have identified similar price discrepancies at Walmart stores in other states, and are seeking class-action status for the suit on behalf of other consumers who may have been overcharged.

A district court had previously dismissed Kahn’s lawsuit, ruling in part that it was enough for Walmart to provide the correct price on the receipt, thus allowing consumers to compare the prices they paid vs. what they expected to pay. The appeals court found that providing a receipt with the true prices was “insufficient to dispel the deception created by Walmart’s inaccurate shelf prices.”

“This case concerns the nation’s largest retailer, which allegedly stands to profit by hundreds of millions each year from shelf price discrepancies,” the appeal court stated in its ruling, dismissing much of the district court’s findings.

Although the appeals court found that Walmart could not be expected to have 100% shelf-price accuracy across the hundreds of thousands of items it sells, the retailer could have done more to ensure that its prices were accurate.

The court cited instances in other states where Walmart had been fined for scanning errors, including California and North Carolina.

A Walmart spokesperson told Supermarket News that the company would continue to fight the lawsuit.

“We’ll always work to provide our customers every day low prices they can count on,” the spokesperson said. “We are confident in the evidence and look forward to arguing our case.”

The appeals court ruled in favor of Walmart on Kahn’s request for injunctive relief, noting that Kahn would have to amend his suit in order to demonstrate “plausible likelihood of future injury.”

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