No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
At Gigantic State University hereafter (GSU) the Students for Fair Tuition (hereafter SFT), staged a protest against rising tuition costs by attempting to take over president Dalton Chandler’s office. When his secretary, Prudence Pimply attempted to call the campus police, an altercation occurred between her and the head of the STF, Steve Steel. Prudence was so upset by the incident that she required a doctor’s care and missed several days of work. In this instance, civil suits could be brought, including assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. A criminal charge of assault could also be brought.
When Steve Steel slapped the phone from Prudence’s hand and threatened her with a realistic water pistol, he committed the intentional tort of assault. Henry Cheeseman (2010) defines assault as “(1) the threat of immediate harm or offensive contact or (2) any action that arouses reasonable apprehension of imminent harm” (p. 75). Steve slaps the telephone out of Prudence’s hand, and he threatens her with a real looking water pistol. Both of these acts could reasonably cause apprehension of harm. Although Steve could attempt a defense claiming the harm was not intentional, he could have reasonable expected and foreseen the harm. Due to these facts, his actions meet the definition of assault, but since no contact occurred, it could not be considered battery (Cheeseman, 2010).
When Steve threatened to shoot Prudence if she moved toward the phone or the door, he committed the tort of false imprisonment. Prudence’s freedom of movement was restrained by the threat of imminent harm. Although the pistol was not a real one, it was realistic looking, and Prudence assumed that it was in fact real. In this instance, Steve has no defense of lack of intent. He did in fact intend to restrain her movements.
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
The sum of Steve’s behavior falls under...