In this assignment, you’ll need to decide whether Patty Plaintiff has any legal claims arising from a series of unfortunate events. After reading the scenario, answer the questions that follow, making sure to fully explain the basis of your decision.
Patty Plaintiff is shopping at her favorite store, Cash Mart. She is looking for a new laptop, but she can’t find one she likes. Then, realizing that she is going to be late for an appointment, she attempts to leave the store, walking very fast. However, before she can leave, she is stopped by a security guard who accuses her of shoplifting. Patty, who has taken nothing, denies any wrong doing. The officer insists and takes Patty to a small room in the back of the store. The guard tells Patty that if she attempts to leave the room she will be arrested and sent to jail. At this point, the guard leaves the room. Patty is scared and waits in the room for over an hour until the manager comes in and apologizes and tells Patty that she is free to go.
About this same time, Gerry Golfer is hitting golf balls in his backyard. Gerry decides to break out his new driver and hits a golf ball out of his backyard into the Cash Mart parking lot. The golf ball hits Patty Plaintiff on the head and knocks her unconscious just as she is leaving the store.
Five days later, after recovering from her injuries, Patty returns to work at Acme Corporation. Unfortunately, she used her company email to send her mom a personal email about her injury despite being aware that Acme’s company policy prohibits use of company email for personal communication. Patty’s supervisor, Barry Bossley, discovers Patty’s violation and Patty is reprimanded. When Patty goes home she uses her personal computer to post disparaging comments about her boss and Acme Corporation on social media. The next day Patty is fired from her job.
In 4-6 pages, answer the following question: What types of legal claims could Patty make against Cash Mart, Gerry, and Acme Corporation? Consider the following:
- What are the possible tort claims that Patty can make against Cash Mart? Discuss the elements of the claim and how those elements relate to the facts in the scenario.
- Was Gerry negligent when he hit the golf ball that injured Patty? Discuss the elements of negligence and use facts from the scenario to support your decision.
- Does Patty have a right to privacy when using Acme Corporation’s e-mail system? Discuss the elements of the claim and how those elements relate to the facts in the scenario.
- Can Patty be legally fired from her job for making negative comments about her boss and her company on social media? Discuss the elements of the claim and how those elements relate to the facts in the scenario.