November 23, 2007
Black Friday Exam Question
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.
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Don't forget negligence by the mall owner for inadequate security, for a dangerous situation that was clearly foreseeable. And of course, the consumer fraud for not having the advertised item with the "fantastic price," which may have been a substantial contributing factor in creating the dangerous condition.
My trip to the hardware store to buy light bulbs, I would add, was quite uneventful.
Posted by: Eric @ New York Personal Injury Law Blog | Nov 23, 2007 7:42:58 PM