Logan v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. Case Brief

Summary of Logan v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 466 So. 2d 121 (Ala. 1985)

Facts: Defendant’s employee called plaintiff at his place of business to see if he had made the monthly payment on D’s store credit card. While P was looking through his checkbook to see if he had made the payment, he heard the employee state: “This guy is a queer as a three-dollar bill. He owns a beauty salon, and he just told me that if you’ll hold the line I will check my checkbook." No one but P heard the employee’s remarks.

Procedure: P brought suit against D seeking damages based on the torts of outrage and invasion of privacy. Summary judgment for D. P appeals.

Issue: Were the employee’s comments extreme and outrageous enough to cause emotional and mental distress to a reasonable person?

Holding: No

Rule: “One who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm."

Rationale: The employee’s comments were mere derogatory insults that law provides no remedy for. The law provides remedy if the intentional or reckless conduct of D is so extreme and reckless that no reasonable person can endure it. But under the current facts, such conduct is not found. The word “queer" has been in usage for a long time. The usage of this word by the employee was insulting to P, but it is not extreme and outrageous enough that a reasonable person cannot endure it.

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