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Target owes $3 million for customer defamation

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Lesson of the day: Don't smear your customers unless you are sure they are doing something wrong. Unless you want to pay $3 million for the mistake.

A jury awarded $3.1 million to a South Carolina woman who sued Target Corp. for defamation, according to Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

A Target spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company would challenge the amount.

According to the Greenville News in South Carolina:

The jury found that the company distributed information that wrongly accused her of trying to pass a counterfeit bill while shopping.

The suit alleged that a Target loss-prevention employee was responsible for an email distributed to dozens of other businesses and law enforcement agencies that warned them to be on the lookout for her after she tried to buy items from two Target stores with a legitimate $100 bill, according to a complaint filed in Greenville federal court.

In its answer to the complaint, Target denied wrongdoing and said that the email communication was "made in good faith."

The email led the U.S. Secret Service to question Cantrell while she was at work at a Belk’s department store in Greenville, where she was employed in the store’s loss-prevention department, the complaint alleged.

Agents reviewed the bill -- which was an older, 1974 series $100 bill -- and determined she had done nothing wrong, according to the complaint.

People still use $100 bills? We haven't seen one of those in ages.