Settlement reached in rare defamation lawsuit

Two men who sued Dollar General for defamation of character after an employee in the Hutchinson store called police in June 2014 to complain about the men standing outside the store have now settled out of court.

The case involving plaintiffs Donald Tolbert and Willie Miller Sr. was set for trail starting Monday, but the court learned late Friday that the two sides reached settlement. Details of the settlement were not available.

In their suit, the two men allege they were standing outside the store at 7 S. Adams St. on the evening of June 20, 2014, when police arrived and informed them they were being charged with criminal trespass, after a clerk in the store complained they’d earlier been harassing her inside the store and “made her fearful” because they wouldn’t leave.

Both men denied being inside the store.

The clerk, who refused to leave the store to confirm her identification of the two after police arrived, told officers she’d watched them leave and was positive it was them. She also refused, however, according to the suit, to provide an in-store video of the earlier incident.

The suit did not detail what occurred earlier in the store.

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