Tampa Tribune
6/7/1997
TAMPA – A prominent surgeon sued Wal-Mart Friday, accusing the company of selling his family a used camcorder containing film depicting pornographic acts and animal cruelty – a video discovered by his 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.William Carson and his wife, Marguerite, bought the camcorder from a Sam’s Club store on North Dale Mabry Highway.

Although packaged and held out to the public as new, the camcorder housed a videotape that had been used, according to the lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court.

When the Carsons sat down with their children to see film they thought their kids had taken, they instead viewed close-ups of sexual organs and scenes of animal cruelty.

The Carsons’ lawyer, Steve Yerrid, said he has talked with Wal-Mart to try to take care of the matter, but he said his efforts were unsuccessful.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman was attending the annual stockholders’ meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Yerrid said the video showed women piercing themselves and someone beating a rodent before feeding it to a boa constrictor.

“You expect to get what you paid for and not some horror story on film,” he said.

The videotape also contained footage of the inside of the Sam’s Club store taken from behind the counter, which Yerrid said leads him to believe a store employee could have filmed the other scenes as well.

Because the package did not indicate the camcorder had been used before, the store violated Florida law and deceived the family, the lawsuit says. The Carsons seek to prevent Wal-Mart from holding out used items as new.