“What would a jury think as to how I handle this situation?”
1. Dan’s Dry Cleaner has been in business for 30 years. Dan runs the store and has three employees. Dan believes one of his employees, Leo, is dealing drugs from the store.
2. Dan sets up a camera in the store hallway next to the bathroom and points it toward the back door. The back door locks from the outside so he figures if someone is dealing drugs out back, they would leave the door open, and he can catch them with the camera.
3. One Monday, the camera malfunctions, and falls to the floor. Leo picks up the camera and hides it in the lady’s bathroom. Dan’s camera videotapes Bonnie, another employee, washing her hands in the sink.
4. Bonnie finds out about the camera and is humiliated. She quits working and asserts, “I can never use a public restroom again, I am going to be homebound for the rest of my life.” Bonnie in fact never leaves her home, develops depression, and commits suicide. Her family sues Dan’s Dry Cleaner for wrongful death and invasion of her privacy.
5. The company comes to you.
a. Would the family be successful in proving its case as to wrongful death and an invasion of privacy claim against Dan’s Dry Cleaner, yes or no and why or why not?
Wrongful death – To successfully sue for wrongful death, the plaintiff must show and prove the following:
The death of a human being
The death was caused by another’s negligence OR with intent to cause harm
Damages to the surviving family or representatives because of the death
Negligence – Is a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Negligent conduct may consist of either an act, or an omission to act when there is a duty to do so.
Four elements are required to establish a case of negligence:
The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to plaintiff.
Defendant’s breach of that duty.
Proof that defendant’s breach caused the injury/proximate cause of the damages/injuries.
Your answer must include an understanding of privacy law and a current source within 2 years.