Friday, November 23, 2007
This morning, shortly after 4:00 a.m, I made my way to Kohl's for my first, and last, foray into Black Friday shopping. I wanted a particular item for my daughter, and Kohl's advertised a fantastic price on it. As an amateur, I had no idea what I was doing. But I was optimistic. How many people could possibly be at a Kohl's in suburban Harrisburg at 4:20 a.m.? Apparently, a lot.
The item I was seeking was no longer in stock. However, my instinct to avoid this carnival all of these years has been vindicated. On the bright side, it was a target-rich environment for a Torts exam, especially for those of us with a two-semester course emphasizing intentional torts in the fall. There are a lot of people in a crowded space, some of whom are desperate to get a particular item. The assault and battery/self defense opportunities are obvious. And it wouldn't take much of a stretch to see the animus from the original encounter create the desire for some intentional infliction of emotional distress. Finally, it's a department store, so it is easy to envision a shoplifting/detention scenario that can be used to test false imprisonment. The setting is perfect to analyze the common statutory "shopkeeper's privilege." Enjoy your day off--and avoid malls.