NEW YORK — You might be surprised to learn that if you have been a victim of a domestic violence incident, you can get your money back.
The Domestic Violence Law Center, which offers a 24-hour toll-free hotline for victims of abuse, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan against Marshall, a large grocery chain, and three other companies that manufacture and sell products intended to prevent and address domestic violence.
The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Marshall to reimburse the three companies for any payments it made to the woman who accused them of abusing her.
According to the lawsuit, the woman had received $20 in cash for each of her four previous abuse allegations.
But because Marshall had previously agreed to reimburse her for $4,000, the lawsuit says, the money was taken and deposited into a savings account of a Marshall employee who was not involved in the alleged abuse.
The woman also reported that the bank had transferred her funds to another Marshall account, but that the woman was unaware of that, the complaint said.
In a statement, Marshall said it is working with the law center to provide any refunds that are necessary.
“The companies who manufacture and distribute products designed to prevent, respond to, and mitigate domestic violence have a long history of helping victims.
They are committed to ensuring that all of our customers receive a fair and just outcome,” the company said.”
We take this matter very seriously and are cooperating with the federal government to fully address this matter.”
Marrall and its subsidiaries, which include Kellogg’s, the Hershey Co., Kelloggs, and Sysco, have denied the allegations.
But the law suit argues that the companies have violated federal laws that prohibit banks from giving money to individuals who have been victims of domestic violence and that they have created a hostile work environment that causes victims of sexual assault and other forms of abuse to fear reprisal.
In March, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which requires banks to offer refunds to people who have lost money on accounts held by them.
Marshall did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.