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Mary Jefferson’s boyfriend gave her a new gold chain link necklace for her birthday. Mary slipped her new necklace into her shoulder purse as she entered the Big Value Mart with her elderly father. They had originally come to the store to purchase new batteries for her father’s hearing aid, but Mary immediately noticed a large sign that stated, “Super Sale on All Jewelry.”
Mary wanted to know exactly how much her boyfriend spent on her birthday gift, so she pulled her father by the arm over to the jewelry display. Eagerly, she opened her purse, and pulled out her gold link necklace, and began to compare it to the necklaces displayed on a long glass countertop.
Unknown to Mary and her father, B.J. Security was at another counter 10 feet behind her, pretending to try on sunglasses with a mirror, but he was actually spying on her as she examined the necklaces. The previous week, B.J. had completed the one-week security guard training course offered by the Big Value Mart, and it was his first day on the job as a security guard. He was eager to prove himself to his boss, Thelma Gray. B.J. was happy that his supervisor had gone to take another coffee break so that he had a chance to follow Mary and her father by himself.
As Mary left the jewelry display, B.J. was certain that he saw her slip one of the store’s necklaces into her purse. As he followed her to the hearing aid department, B.J. decided that he better do something quickly before Mary had a chance to leave the store with the stolen necklace. He ran in front of Mary, and blocked her path, as he yelled, “Stop, thief. Stop, now.”
Mary was shocked to hear someone yelling and looked around for perhaps another customer who was stealing. She did not see any other customers when she looked. However, her father merely stared back at her with a confused look.
When Mary did not stop walking, B.J. grabbed her purse and pulled it off her shoulder. He yelled, “Come with me now.” Even though B.J. did not physically touch her when he grabbed the purse, Mary was so frightened that she complied with his demand that she accompany him to the manager’s office on the other side of the store. Mary’s father remained by the hearing aid department.
Once they arrived at the manager’s office, B.J. announced to his supervisor, Thelma, “I caught my first thief.” Before Thelma could respond, B.J. dumped the contents of Mary’s purse on a table and pointed to the gold chain link necklace. Thelma picked up the necklace and requested Mary’s permission to take the necklace to the stockroom to compare the jeweler’s engraved markings against the store’s inventory list. Mary granted permission for the comparison, and Thelma left Mary alone in the manager’s office in the custody of B.J.

While Thelma was gone, B.J. stared at Mary for 15 minutes before he picked up his 6’2″, heavily framed body, and leaned over Mary, who was sitting with her arms crossed next to the table. B.J. put his face 1 inch from Mary’s face and said, “I know what I would love to do with someone like you.” Mary edged away from B.J. but was unable to leave because she was trapped against a table that pressed into her lower back.
Suddenly, before B.J. could say or do anything else, Thelma opened the door, held out Mary’s necklace, and began to apologize profusely because the markings on the necklace revealed that it was manufactured in Cordoba, Spain. All the necklaces sold in the store were manufactured in Vicenza, Italy. The store did not sell any jewelry that was manufactured in Spain, even though Mary’s necklace was identical to the Italian jewelry sold at the Big Value Mart.
Mary grabbed her necklace from Thelma’s outstretched hand, and yelled, “You are all a bunch of idiots,” as she ran from the manager’s office toward the store exit. Mary glanced at her watch as she left the store, and became even more irritated when she discovered that B.J. had detained her for 25 minutes while Thelma investigated his allegations. As revenge for B.J.’s false allegation, Mary grabbed a candy bar from the snack display near the exit. She quickly ripped the wrapper off the candy bar, crammed it into her mouth, and swallowed it before she reached her car. Upon reaching her car, Mary left the Big Value Mart parking lot so quickly, her tires left 10-foot burn marks on the pavement and created a loud screeching noise that made the other customers in the parking lot jump.
Nanny Brittlebones, who was standing 20 feet away from Mary’s car, was so startled by the noise from Mary’s hasty exit that she jumped in the air and clumsily landed on the ground so that she twisted her ankle and fell. Nanny suffered a sprained ankle and broken right wrist. Mary did not see Nanny fall, so she did not remain at the scene to render assistance to the elderly woman.

Assignment

• Part A:Identify as many plaintiffs and claims as you can find in this fact pattern. Describe the facts that support these claims.

• Part B:Next, identify as many defendants and their defenses as possible and provide your analysis of the pertinent facts.

 

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