The case of a pregnant woman who was fired from a Tim Hortons store in Toronto for allegedly stealing a toonie will go to the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
Charlene Walsh gets her day in court a week after a single mother of four was fired from a Tim Hortons outlet in London, Ont., for giving a free Timbit to a baby.
Walsh was fired from the Tim Hortons she worked at in June 1999, when she was seven months pregnant.
The franchise managers and owner alleged she stole the $2 coin, but Walsh has maintained she earned the money in tips.
"When they earned tips, sometimes they would leave them in the [cash register] because they have limited change, then later on take them out," her lawyer Ernest Guiste said Tuesday.
Police charged Walsh with theft under $5,000, although the Crown later withdrew the charge.
She sued the franchise owner and Toronto police, but a jury dismissed the suit in 2006.
Guiste said the jury lacked the proper context of Walsh's tips when they were shown a video of her taking money out of the cash register.
"Our main point of appeal is that a theft is not the mere act of taking money from the till and putting it in the tip cup," Guiste said.
"You have to have a fraudulent intent."
Walsh is not doing well today, nine years after she was fired. She worked at various jobs after her dismissal, but is now on disability and has a brain tumour. It's not malignant, but it still must be removed, Guiste said.
"She's just been in very poor health — for a toonie," he said.
Officer who made charge got free coffee: lawyer
The City of Toronto has spent close to $300,000 defending the case, Guiste said, adding that the lawsuit against the police deals with a conflict of interest.
He said the Tim Hortons franchise where Walsh worked had a practice of providing free product to police, and the officer who charged her even admitted to accepting free coffee.
Walsh's lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $10 million for general and punitive damages as well as for mental distress.
"I only picked that figure to lay emphasis on how high-handed and reprehensible I thought the conduct was," Guiste said.
"You don't do that to a pregnant person."
The appeal is to begin Wednesday morning.
Last week, single mom Nicole Lilliman was fired from a London Tim Hortons outlet for giving away a Timbit to a baby.
Although she was hastily reinstated when the doughy dilemma hit the news, she said she'll look for work elsewhere.
Sorry, but getting fired over a toonie doesn't give you a tumor.