Tort law is a never-ending highlight reel of human drama and catastrophe. That’s why I love teaching it.
A very noteworthy tort claim was filed early this month in Hardin County, Kentucky. The allegation, in a nutshell, is this: a disgruntled customer of an auto dealership posted a bunch of crappy reviews and mailed a bunch of questionable items to a staff member.
The allegations, in their specificity, are much more colorful. A fellow named Troy Mann is being accused of sending through the mail, among other things, “glitter bombs” and several “bags of dicks,” which then resulted in much harm and offense by the recipient.
I present to you, key screenshots from the complaint.
First, a visual depiction of the various “glitter bombs” allegedly mailed by the defendant to the plaintiff:
Glitter bombs were not the only items mailed to the plaintiff, however:
Well, that’s…something. But what’s the big deal? So what if this company makes tacky stuff people can mail to each other? Where’s the harm in that?
Tort law provides plaintiffs with a cause of action called “battery,” an intentional tort that involves harmful or offensive bodily contact intentionally caused by someone else. As it turns out:
Note that no actual physical injury is alleged. That’s not necessary to prove the tort of battery. Merely “offensive” contact can be enough, hence why the complaint alleges that the plaintiff was “shocked, scared, and offended” when the Bag of Dicks made contact with her.
The complaint goes on to describe additional similar mailings received by the plaintiff, all of which made offensive contact with her or put her in apprehension of such contact (all that is required for the tort of “assault,” which is also alleged in the complaint).
The complaint also includes claims for defamation and business interference, based on purposely negative reviews allegedly posted online about the plaintiff car dealership.
No doubt the plaintiffs in this case sincerely believe in the merits of their claims. It could very well be considered offensive to take a surprise Jizz Bomb directly to the face.
But as a teacher of legal writing I really appreciate this complaint because it shows that even the most clinical legal writing can also be deadpan hilarious.