Employing facts from the three scenarios, this paper is going to discuss the various types of legal claims that Patty can bring against Cash Mart, Gerry and Acme Corporation. In deciding the possible tort claims to be brought against the defendants, this discussion will make use of the four principle tort law elements. For Cash Mart, her favorite store, and the focus is on how the security guard action of accusing Patty and preventing her from leaving the store lead to violations of some tort law elements. For Gerry’s negligence, the focus is on the duty of care that he owes to all passerby and how his acts represent a violation of this duty. Finally, the last two paragraphs focus on the right to privacy and how companies can restrict this right and why Acme Corporation was right to fire Patty after making negative comments about her employer.
The four essential elements of tort that a plaintiff has to prove when suing a defendant include the duty to care, breach of this duty, causation and injury or damages arising (David & Twomey, 2016; Standler, 2011 ). The duty of care requires certain individuals to act in a way that conforms to a certain standard of conduct, with the aim of protecting others from undue risks. For a tort claim to arise, there should be evidence of a breach of the duty of care. The last two elements, causation and injury depend on the breach of the duty of care.
There are several tort claims that Patty, the plaintiff can raise against her favorite store, Cash Mart, the defendant. Despite the lack of evidence to link Patty’s decision to walk out of the store in a hurry to shoplifting, she was imprisoned intentionally by the security guard. For this gross violation, Patty should sue for false imprisonment by Cash Mart, her favorite store. Patty should also sue the store and the security guard for defamation. The fact that Patty was accused of shoplifting profoundly destroys her character. Therefore, the only way to repair this is by making a claim of libel against the store. Patty should also sue the store for intentional infliction of emotional distress. From the scenario, it is evident that Patty suffered emotional distress while in confinement in a small room for acts she had not done. Threats were used to prevent Patty from leaving the small room.
There is enough evidence to show that Gerry acted negligently when he hit the golf ball that injured Patty as she was leaving the store. As a responsible citizen, the tort of negligence requires Gerry to exercise the duty of care to all passerby. Therefore, his act of striking the golf ball so hard that it ended hitting Patty Plaintiff as she was leaving the store represents a breach of this duty. Due to the impact of the force on the head, Patty became unconscious. For this, Patty should sue for negligence on the part of Gerry and damages for the injury that she suffered due to the effect of the knock on her head.
Since Acme Corporation, Patty’s employer policies restrict employees against using the company email for personal communication; I think Patty does not have a right to privacy concerning monitoring of the use of company email (Nord, McCubbins, & Nord, 2006). This act represents a breach of duty on the part of Patty. Using the company email for personal communication is an act of deceit and has the potential of exposing Acme to unforeseen dangers. Therefore, it would not be advisable for Patty to sue her employer for reaching her right to privacy.
Almost all companies have policies that prohibit employees against posting negative comments about the company on social media platforms (Wilson, 2017). Employees are required to exercise the duty of care and exercise restriction when using social media. Concerning this, Patty’s decision to post disparaging comments about her boss and her employer on social media represent a breach of the duty of care. The action has the potential of damaging the reputation of the company and negatively affects its operations. For this reason, Patty’s employer, Acme Corporation decision to fire Patty is legally right. However, this right does not extend to when employees discuss wages, and working conditions at the place of work.
David P.& Twomey, M. M. (2016). Business Law: Principles for Today’s Commercial
Environment (5 Ed.). Cengage Learning
Nord, G. D., McCubbins, T. F., & Nord, J. H. (2006). E-monitoring in the workplace: privacy,
legislation, and surveillance software. Communications of the ACM, 49(8), 72-77.
Standler, R. B. (2011). Elements of Torts in the USA.
Wilson, S. (2017). Can You Prohibit Employees from Bad-mouthing Your Company on Social
Media? New Jersey Business & Industry Association. Retrieved from https://www.njbia.org/can-prohibit-employees-bad-mouthing-company-social-media/