Product Tampering Suspected In Case Of Stuck Walmart Shoppers

In a new and somewhat bizarre case of product tampering, shoppers at a Walmart store in Cartersville, Georgia, have been stuck by hypodermic needles planted in clothing.

Atlanta-based WXIA  is reporting that two Georgia women received needle sticks from diabetic type hypodermic needles with syringes that were placed in women’s clothing. One of the victims, 14-year-old Courtney Worthington, was trying on pajamas that her mother had purchased at the Walmart store when she was stuck in a finger and her foot. Reports indicate she was treated for the injuries at home.

The second woman, Patricia Headrick, reached into a box of bras to check the size when she was stuck by the same type of syringe and needle. She went to the hospital and underwent treatment intended to prevent HIV infection. According to the victim, Walmart refused to reimburse her for the $1300 cost of the treatment unless investigators find that a Walmart employee planted the needles in the clothing. Walmart, apparently reconsidering their stance on the subject after it garnered media attention,  later said they would work with any customers to help pay legitimate medical expenses.

Two additional hypodermic needles were also found, one in a pair of pants and another a pair of socks. No one was stuck by the needles in those instances. Sgt. Jonathan Rogers of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, said that Walmart had found other syringes as well, and that an investigation is under way.

The first incident (the 14-year-old girl that was stuck) occurred on November 22, one day before Black Friday. Atlanta has been a hotbed of activity for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and some in the city suspect a relationship between the protests and the apparent product tampering. However, no other stores in the country have reported similar incidents, and no pattern of this type of activity has been is observed in relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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Faroh Sauder has spent more than 30 years working as a journalist and educator. He has written on politics, international affairs, civil rights, and consumer education. Now mostly retired, Faroh continues to stay current on tech and consumer issues and reports on his interests here at News For Shoppers.