Wal-Mart seeks to dismiss Peach class action

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 8, 2005, 7:54am

Ashley Peach, who has three pending class actions suits in Madison County, will be in court March 14 for her case against Wal-Mart, on its motion to dismiss the suit.

Represented by Jeffery Millar of The Lakin Law Firm, Peach alleges that Wal-Mart wrongfully retained unused balances on gift cards.

In her complaint, Peach states that sometime after Mother’s Day in May of 2004 she purchased shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries from the Granite City Wal-Mart, using two separate $10 gift cards to pay for the purchase that totaled $18.61.

After the sale was complete, Peach alleges the cashier would not give her back the $1.39 balance as cash even though she demanded it.

Peach claims the balance on the gift card represents money to which she and the class have the right to immediate possess.

In Count I of the complaint, Peach claims she has been damaged in the amount of the remaining balance on the gift card, legal interest, as well as reasonable attorney fees and court costs, plus treble punitive damages, but in no event an amount in excess of $75,000 exclusive of costs and interest.

In Count II of her complaint, Peach alleges that Wal-Mart’s improper conduct constitutes unjust enrichment and it would violate the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good conscience. Wal-Mart's consistent corporate practices wrongfully retain the benefits received from the class, according to the complaint.

Peach also filed class actions against Fashion Bug and K-Mart alleging the retailers also would not give her cash for gift card balances.

Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron will hear arguments at 9 a.m. in courtroom 327.

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