WALMART has been sued after disturbing details about an employee’s alleged behavior came to light.
The parents of a four-year-old filed a civil lawsuit after employee Ethan Richardson, 25, was arrested on child pornography allegations.
The investigation began in February when Richardson was allegedly caught picking up a four-year-old child in the bathroom of the Walmart where he worked.
Alabama police searched Richardson’s cellphone and allegedly found evidence that he had taped or photographed at least 19 youths at the store.
According to Cullman PD Sergeant Adam Clark, most of his victims were under the age of 17 and the incidents dated to October 2022.
“He was just waiting there for a kid to come in,” the sergeant said.
Richardson was indicted in May on 53 counts including manufacture and possession of child pornography and aggravated criminal surveillance, according to local ABC affiliate WBRC.
A couple now argue that Walmart was aware of Richardson’s inappropriate behavior during his tenure but took no action.
The civil suit alleges that a manager told a police officer that Walmart had previously received multiple complaints about Richardson’s conduct.
Customers previously accused the suspect of inappropriately speaking to children at the store, the lawsuit says.
“I don’t know why it takes multiple comments for her [Walmart] to do something,” said family attorney Steve Goozee.
“But one, two, three or four … at least four, and they didn’t do anything, and that’s what happened,” he claimed.
The complaint alleges that Walmart “showed a reckless disregard for the safety of its customers by retaining Richardson as an employee after they learned of his tendency to speak inappropriately to children of customers.”
Richardson was served with the lawsuit Tuesday in prison.
Goozee called the complaint “a message to Walmart that if you have that kind of knowledge, you have to do something.”
Walmart said in a statement, “We are working closely with law enforcement on this ongoing investigation.”
“We terminated Mr Richardson in February after becoming aware of this incident in our toilet.
“Out of respect for all parties involved and because this matter is still the subject of litigation, we will not be commenting further.”