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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My IRS refund check was stolen and fraudulently cashed at a

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My IRS refund check was stolen and fraudulently cashed at a Wal Mart 4 hours away. It was a two party check and they did not require both people there. It was not even signed, just poorly printed. Obviously, Wal Mart did not follow their own procedures, which require both people to be present and have valid ID. What recourse do I have with Wal Mart? I did file a police report. Do I need to hire my own attorney?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

I am sorry for your situation. At this point, you may have a claim against Wal-Mart for negligence, which is a civil matter, not criminal. You can argue that Wal-Mart had the duty to confirm the individuals' identity before taking the check, and them not having to do so (especially against their own regulations) was a breach of that duty. The traditional elements of a negligence case are: (1) A duty, or obligation, recognized by law, requiring the actor to conform to a certain standard of conduct, for the protection of others against unreasonable risks (2) A failure on his part to conform to the standard required ...(3) A reasonable close causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury ... and (4) Actual loss or damage resulting to the interests of the other. Sutter v. Hutchings, 254 Ga. 194, 196-197, 327 S.E.2d 716 (1985) (quoting Prosser, Law of Torts, 4th ed., § 30 (1971)).

I would retain an attorney to possible sue them. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5(a) allows punitive damages if you show willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or a conscious indifference on part of defendant.

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