Before Pittman, P.j., Smith And Mills, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/08/1997
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MARCUS D. GORDON
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: NESHOBA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - TORTS - OTHER THAN PERSONAL INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE
DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 12/17/98
¶1. On August 23, 1996, Kenny Scott Davis filed this defamation action in the Circuit Court of Neshoba County against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. after an incident at the Wal-Mart store in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The Neshoba County jury found for Wal-Mart. From this judgment, Davis appeals assigning the following as error:
I. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT'S APPROVAL OF INSTRUCTION D-6 AS AMENDED WAS REVERSIBLE ERROR.
II. WHETHER THE JURY'S VERDICT WAS AGAINST THE OVERWHELMING WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.
III. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO GRANT THE CHALLENGES FOR CAUSE DAVIS REQUESTED WHEN FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE JURORS WERE WAL-MART EMPLOYEES.
¶2. Kenny Scott Davis was a customer at Wal-Mart in Philadelphia, Mississippi, around five o'clock in the afternoon on July 10, 1996. He purchased some cigarettes and a lighter and received a receipt. That same day, Davis purchased contacts at the Supervision Center inside the Philadelphia Wal-Mart, and he received a receipt from Supervision.
¶3. At some point during his visit to Wal-Mart, Davis was in the front of the Wal-Mart building near the video games. Either prior to this point or while near the video games, a Wal-Mart greeter, Jim Holland, asked Davis to present his receipt for the cigarette purchase. Davis contends Holland accused him of shoplifting and then states he was surrounded by several Wal-Mart employees and for all practical purposes restrained from leaving the area until he produced his receipt. Holland states he followed Davis out of the store, but claims he never touched Davis or accused him of shoplifting. A security guard, Steven Settlemire, was present at the front entrance to the store and testified Davis was never physically restrained. Settlemire used his walkie- talkie to call the store manager, Jerry Reynolds, to ...