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How To Sue Walmart

Camila Lopez - Suing a Business - March 6, 2024

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    Do you have a dispute with Walmart over a refund, purchase, personal injury, or damages to your vehicle?

    You have several options, including suing Walmart in small claims court.

    Did you know that one of the first steps people take before suing is sending a demand letter? We have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter. Check out our demand letter tool.

    Common types of Small Claims lawsuits against Walmart

    Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits against Walmart:

    • Failure to deliver the items you purchased. For example, you purchased an item from Walmart online but they never delivered the item.

    • Issue with Walmart Auto Care Center. For example, you took your car to Walmart to get the oil changed, but instead they messed up your engine.

    • Personal Injury. For example, if you fell inside a Walmart and injured yourself. Keep in mind that many personal injury lawyers take personal injury cases "on a contingency" meaning you only pay if you win so you may want to consult with an attorney before suing in small claims! 

    What to do before suing Walmart in small claims court

    Send a Demand Letter

    A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests. For example, you could request a refund and explain why you are requesting a refund.  

    If you eventually decide to sue in California small claims court, you are required to first request your money or property back before you can file the lawsuit. While you can request your money or property back orally, it is recommended you do so in writing in the form of a demand letter.

    How to write a demand letter 2

    What to include in the demand letter?

    Unsure of what to include in your demand letter to Walmart? Here are a few suggestions:

    • How much money you are owed.

    • Why you are owed money.

    • Your contact information.

    • Where to send payment.

    • Give them a few days to respond (usually about 7 to 14 days).

    • State that if they don't respond, you intend to sue.

    Where to send the letter:

    Walmart Inc.

    702 SW 8th Street
    Bentonville, AR 72716

    You can also send a copy of the letter to their registered agent in California:

    CT Corporation System

    ATTN: Walmart Inc.

    818 West Seventh Street
    Suite 930
    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

    If Walmart ignores your demand letter, what is the next step? You can sue Walmart in a small claims court.

    How much does it cost to sue Walmart in small claims?

    So how much are you going to spend by suing Walmart in small claims court?

    Court Filing Fees

    The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California depends on how much you are suing Walmart for. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.  

    Serving Costs

    Once the lawsuit is filed, you have to notify Walmart that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $0-$75.

    Walmart has an agent in each state it has a store. Officially this agent is called an "agent for service of process" which means the person or business responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of Walmart.

    In California, this is Walmart's agent:

    CT Corporation System
    818 West Seventh Street
    Suite 930
    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    If you win, you can request that Walmart pay for your court fees and serving costs.

    How much can you sue Walmart for in small claims?

    In California, you can sue Walmart for a maximum of $12,500 if you are an individual. If you are a business suing Walmart, you can sue for a maximum of $6,250. Note, if you are a sole proprietor, you count as an individual.

    By suing in small claims you are agreeing to waive any amount over the maximum amount you can sue for, even if you are owed more. For example, if Walmart owes you $15,000, and you decide to sue in small claims, you are waiving suing for an additional $2,500. Meaning that you will win a maximum of $12,500.

    While you may be missing out on the full amount you are owed, there are practical benefits to suing in small claims instead of suing in "regular court."

    Here are some of the benefits:

    1. Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.

    2. The process is faster in small claims than in other courts as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.

    3. Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims which helps keep the costs of suing low.  

    How to file a small claims lawsuit against Walmart

    We have outlined each one of these steps in detail, click the links to learn more.

    1. Prepare and file the lawsuit. Learn more.

    2. Notify ("serve") Walmart's agent for service of process. Learn more.

    3. Prepare for and attend the small claims hearing. Learn more.

    Once the lawsuit is filed, the small claims hearing will be scheduled 30-70 days later.

    Make sure to review any terms you agreed to with Walmart! Here is a link to Walmart's general terms of use.

    What is a small claims court hearing like?

    Small claims hearings in California small claims are informal and most hearings last around 15 minutes. While many disputes settle before the hearing, here is what to expect if your lawsuit does not settle.

    Who will represent Walmart at the hearing?

    • The easiest way to answer this question is that a lawyer will not be representing Walmart since lawyers cannot represent parties at the initial small claims hearing. They will have a non-attorney representative.

    The hearing:

    • Right before the hearing, the judge will ask you and Walmart's representative to

      show each other the evidence that you will later show the judge.

    • The judge will ask you why you are suing.

    • The judge will ask Walmart's representative to tell them their side of the story.

    • The hearing will last around 15 minutes.

    • The judge will ask you to show them the evidence you brought. Sometimes the judge will keep the evidence. Other times, you will get the evidence right back.

    • Very rarely a judge will tell you whether you won or lost at the hearing. Instead, the judge will tell you that their decision will be mailed to you (usually takes a few weeks to two months or so).


    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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