Some Tokyo department stores are facing legal allegations of selling outrageously expensive items to customers who clearly have Alzheimer’s or other mental disabilities related to old age.
The story broke with a Yomiuri Shinbun article detailing a court case brought about by the brother of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Despite the diagnosis and clear symptoms, she was nevertheless allowed to buy a wide variety of extravagant goods – often the same item multiple times – from a Tokyu department store.
The woman’s 70-year-old brother said he realized something was amiss when his sister showed up to a relative’s funeral dressed like a rich college girl ready for a night out in Shibuya. Upon further investigation, he says he found stacks of boxes containing expensive shirts, jackets and other clothes, some of which weren’t even opened.
The brother attempted to explain the situation to the department store following his sister’s diagnosis, but the store management refused to refund her extravagant purchases.
In April, a judge ordered Tokyu to refund a large percentage of the woman’s purchases, but the store refuted the ruling, arguing, “It’s not unusual that customers of a boutique repeatedly buy expensive items.”
▼ “Ma’am, those look stunning on you. Could I persuade you to buy 18 more pairs?”
Yomiuri concludes that similar cases occurred multiple times throughout the 2000s, indicating something of a small-scale epidemic.
Let’s just be grateful that old folks can’t use the Internet, or we’d be seeing a lot more lawsuits over frivolous hamster armor purchases.