TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, 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

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