Jack Bond, a renowned self-defense instructor working for a local community recreation center, wished to give a real life learning experience to his students. Unbeknownst to his class, Bond decided that he would surreptitiously pay an actor to come in to the middle of one of his classes and attack Bond. Then, Bond could show his class how to defend themselves in a real-world setting.
The actor, Christie Steeple, showed up one evening to class. She entered via the side door and immediately began screaming at Bond that he was a “no-good man” and that “he was going to get what he had coming to him.” She then charged at him and began to choke him.
As he was being choked and was about to demonstrate his self-defense tactics, one of his students, Kelly Knight, ran forward and attempted to stab Steeple with a pen in an effort to protect her teacher. Unfortunately, because Knight is new to class, she had bad aim and missed Steeple – striking another student, Larry Lark, in the leg. However, Bob Eagen has been a member of the class for months. He used a manipulative technique to throw Steeple down to the ground and while doing so broke her arm.
As Bond feared, several students did not know how to react to what they perceived as an actual attacker. They cowered in fear in corners screaming and sobbing and required months of intensive counseling after the incident in order to regain their confidence.
Sadly, one of the students, Sandy Slep, was so devastated after watching what she believed was an actual attack that she fled the building. She sprinted across the street and was struck by a car – killing her instantly.
Facts of the Case
Whether, CS had a successful claim against JB.
Whether, CS had a successful claim against BE.
Whether, LL had successful claims against KK and JB.
Whether, the students had successful claims
Whether, there can be any claim by SS.
Rule of Law
Analysis and Conclusion
Under the present facts of the case, CS can bring an action of negligence as against JB for not doing the duty to take care towards his employee which he reasonably have failed to do, since JB could have made his students aware about the fact that, he is going to give a lesson on the use of the real life techniques, with the help of CS, then then students would not have approached to save the life of their teacher under false pretense. So, he failed in seeing the foreseeability of the harm, which he could have seen, and hence is in breach of duty to care towards CS was held in ( Stevenson v. Precision Std., Inc. 1999) and also in (Potts BE & K Construction Co., 1992) .
On the other hand, CS can bring a charge of assault and that of the battery as against BE, if she can prove for battery that, there was an act on part of BE, which caused an offensive contact (Crihfield v. Monsanto Co. 1994), or there was an imminent apprehension based on that contact, and for assault she must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was the presence of the intending acts on the part of the tort feasor (Mardis Mardis Robbins Tire & Rubber Co. 1995), which caused imminent apprehension, that there will be an offensive contact.
Similarly, LL can have his successful claims against KK if he can prove that battery was there as an act on part of KK, which caused an offensive contact, or at least there was an imminent apprehension based on that contact, and for JB, LL can bring the charge for negligence, only if he could establish that JB saw the foreseeable harm, but did not take the necessary duty to take care to restrain that, which ultimately made JB to breach his duty.
All the students suffered psychiatric injury and was subjected to counselling to regain their confidence. So, they can jointly and severally bring a claim as against JB for causing psychiatric injury, if they could establish that a shock from the action of JB made them suffer psychiatric injury (Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 1992), and the distress or the discomfort so rendered must be too much unreasonable, and in no way could be bearable or endurable by a reasonable human being was held in (Soti v. Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. 2005) and also in (Ford v. Revlon, Inc. 1987).
As of SS, who fled the premises and succumbed to death, the only thing which needs to be proved in order bring an actionable claim as against JB by the family, is the negligence on part of JB, which led SS to suffer such nervous shock and psychiatric injury, and based on that she suffered death. But, here she died by getting run over by car, so death cannot be related as the direct cause or the proximate cause of negligence on part of JB, since if she was not run over by a car but she died due to nervous shock then JB could have been drawn for the death caused, but under current situation, family of SS can only be compensated due to psychiatric injury, and not due to death.
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Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire. 1992.  1 AC 310
Crihfield v. Monsanto Co. 1994. 844 F. Supp. 371 (S.D. Ohio 1994)
Donoghue v Stevenson. 1932.  AC 562 (House of lords).
Ford v. Revlon, Inc. . 1987. 734 P.2d 580 (Ariz. 1987)
Mardis Mardis Robbins Tire & Rubber Co. 1995. 669 So. 2d 885 (Ala. 1995)
Meaney v. Dodd. 1988. 111 Wn.2d 174, 178, 759 P.2d 455 (1988)
Potts BE & K Construction Co., . 1992. 604 So. 2d 398 (Ala. 1992)
Soti v. Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. 2005. 2005 Ala. Lexis 15 (Ala. 2005)