Bail bond worker got wrong person; woman awarded almost $1M

Bail bond worker got wrong person; woman awarded almost $1M

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A Walmart employee was awarded almost $1 million in a case of mistaken identity involving a bail bond worker.
  • Story Highlights
  • A Columbus woman was a victim of mistaken identity, according to a report.
  • She was handcuffed while on her job at Walmart.

A bail bond worker went into a Walmart in Columbus in 2014 looking for a woman named Jasmine Hayes, who was wanted on a child cruelty charge, according to state court testimony.

The bond worker found a woman by that name and handcuffed her in an office while her managers watched, testimony showed.

However, the person that was handcuffed was not the right person. As a result, a jury awarded the mistaken-identity victim $350,000 in compensatory damages and $600,000 in punitive damages, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

The only information the worker for Ace Bonding Co. had was the woman’s name and race.

“He did not have a photograph, height, weight or anything like that,” David Rayfield, Hayes’ attorney, told the newspaper.

Ace Bonding had no policies or procedures in place to prevent such a case of mistaken identity, Rayfield said.

The award will be reduced to $600,000 total, by Georgia law, Rayfield said. There’s a $250,000 cap on punitive damages because the jury didn’t find that the bail bond worker acted with intent.

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