P, who is Black, is attending a luncheon at the Brass Ring Club, located in D hotel. As P is standing in line waiting for his food, one of D’s employees snatches the plate from P’s hand, and shouts that because P is Black, he cannot be served in the club. P is not actually touched, nor is he frightened. He is, however, highly embarrassed.
-Is there a tort claim?
Yes, here P has suffered a battery. “The intentional snatching
of an object from one’s hand is as clearly an offensive invasion of his
person as would be an actual contact with his body.” Furthermore, P can
recover compensatory damages for his mental suffering, even though there
was no physical injury.
-The plaintiff need not be aware: It is not necessary that the plaintiff have actual
awareness of the contact at the time it occurs. (Example: D kisses P while she
is asleep. D has committed a battery.)
-Scope of harm: If you put a course of harm into motion, you are responsible
for all the harms to that person regardless of foreseeability.
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