Wal-Mart, which promotes itself as selling clean versions of albums, is being sued by a Maryland couple who purchased an LP containing an obscenity — Evanescence’s new live CD/DVD, Anywhere But Home — in one of the retail giant’s stores, according to The Associated Press. The suit accuses Wal-Mart of deceiving its customers by selling the LP.
The CD did not feature a “parental advisory” warning sticker; Wal-Mart does not sell albums carrying them, per the chain’s policy. But the suit claims that Wal-Mart knew the song, Evanescence’s cover of Korn’s “Thoughtless,” included the offending lyric because the obscenity was censored on a sample posted on the chain’s official Web site and in its stores. A spokesperson for Wal-Mart claimed the sample was posted by another division, Walmart.com.
The complaint was filed Thursday on behalf of Trevin Skeens of Brownsville, Maryland, after he and his wife reportedly discovered the offending word while playing the CD for their 13-year-old daughter in the car on the way home from a Wal-Mart store in nearby Frederick.
“I don’t want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it,” Skeens said of the disc, which was a birthday present for his daughter.
The suit asks that Wal-Mart either censor or remove the disc from its Maryland stores, and asks for damages of up to $74,500 for each of the thousands of people who bought the CD at Wal-Marts located in Maryland. The suit also names the band’s label, Wind-Up Records, and distributor, BMG Entertainment.
The Skeens’ lawyer also reportedly said he plans to take the case nationwide, filing suits state-by-state, if necessary.
A Wal-Mart spokesperson told the [Hagerstown, Maryland] Herald-Mail that the company has no plans to pull the CD, but that it will look into the claims.