Pembroke, NC asked in Identity Theft for North Carolina

Q: Can I sue a restaurant for a waitress forging my signature and adding extra gratuity after I have already given her cash

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1 Lawyer Answer

Melissa Averett

Answered
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: How much money are you talking about? The amount she took is the amount you would be entitled to recover. My guess is the filing fee for the lawsuit is more than the waitress stole from you. And unless you can prove that the restaurant knew or should have known and/or encouraged her to sign your name, the restaurant is not responsible civilly for the independent criminal acts of their employees. But a strongly worded letter from an attorney to the restaurant might get your money back, but unless you are talking about $300 or more, you are going to pay the attorney more to write the letter than you are going to get back from the restaurant. If you have proof of your allegations, talk to law enforcement about charging the waitress with forgery, larceny by false pretense (maybe), etc. That will not cost you anything. And if she is convicted, then she would likely be ordered to pay you the money back as compensation as part of her sentence.

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