[Update Below] New Jersey hat maker and housewife Tova Gerson has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Century 21, accusing the retailer of shortchanging her 80 cents after she returned some clothing that she bought with a $5 coupon. According to the lawsuit, which the Post reports was filed by her father, Gerson had bought over $100 worth of clothes and later returned a $17.97 children's ensemble because she didn't like the color. But instead of giving her the full refund, the store deducted the 80 cents she'd saved, on a pro-rated basis, by using the discount coupon! Seems like Century 21 had no idea who they were dealing with.

Gerson's father, Harry Katz, has made a career out of suing retailers for exactly this sort of thing. He's previously sued Dick's Sporting Goods, Casual Male and The Children's Place over alleged coupon "schemes." And the Daily News reports that Katz and Gerson previously teamed up in December 2008 to sue Modell's. In that case, Gerson allegedly suffered the same outrageous abuse; after using a $25 coupon on $100 worth of gear, she "lost the full benefit" of the coupon after returning some of the items. The News doesn't know how that case turned out, but according to the Post, the lawsuits have either been settled out of court or dismissed. Hey, it's a living.

Confronted by a reporter outside her home yesterday, Gerson said, "It's not a good time. I'm a mom." And when told she would be the subject of a news article, she reportedly said, "I'd really rather you didn't." Unfortunately, Gerson is the talk of the Internet today. Perhaps someday history will remember her as a brave crusader for consumer justice. But today she must endure the slings and arrows of cowardly internet commenters like this Daily News reader, who writes, "Take this lady out back, buy an .80 cent bullet and blow what little brains she has out of her ugly head."

Update: She dropped the lawsuit! The Daily News reports that "Gerson gave no explanation in hastily filed court papers in Manhattan Federal Court." At the risk of sounding, ahem, frivolous, we're thinking maybe Gerson has lawsuit fatigue. Or perhaps she wants to shop around for a better, uh, Target?