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Woman Sues Best Buy for $54 million

February 25, 2008 10:12 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Raelyn Campbell seeks $54 million for a lost laptop. Critics call the case frivolous, but she talks of deceitful retailers and identity theft.

30-Second Summary

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D.C. resident Raelynn Campbell filed a $54 million lawsuit against Best Buy because, she says, the electronics dealer lost her laptop while repairing it and then lied about its disappearance.

Campbell told Computerworld she brought the laptop in for minor repairs. A month later, Best Buy staff told her there was no record of her computer. She kept calling, but says she never got a straight answer.

“They wanted to cover this up,” she told Computerworld.

Her laptop was never recovered. With her tax records still on it, Campbell worries about identity theft.

Best Buy spokesperson Nissa French says Campbell received full payment for the computer, plus a $500 gift card.

Critics call Campbell’s suit frivolous, comparing it to a well-known 1992 jury award of $2.7 million to a consumer scalded by McDonald’s coffee.

The Washington Post called Campbell’s case “another outrageous lawsuit,” likening it to a $54 million “pants suit” last year, when D.C. resident Roy Pearson unsuccessfully sued a dry cleaner for losing a pair of pants. Campbell sued for the same “absurd amount,” she says, to draw media attention to her allegations of retail deception and identity theft.

A February 2008 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report says identity theft is the number-one consumer complaint, and U.S. News and World Report warns consumers to shred financial documents and “never give personal information out to unfamiliar companies.”

Headline Link: ‘Woman Sues Best Buy for $54M in Alleged Lost-Laptop Coverup’

Opinions & Analysis: Legitimate lawsuit or publicity stunt?

Background links: The original $54 million law suit

Related links: Identity theft is number-one consumer complaint

Postal service aims to reduce identity theft
The McDonald’s coffee lawsuit
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