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Tort and Liability

Scenario: BUG, Inc., a company based in Any State, U.S.A., designs, manufactures, and sells electronic recording devises. These devices are used by law enforcement agencies (police, FBI, etc.) to intercept and record sounds and voices. The equipment taps into telephone wires, cell phone transmissions, and picks up sounds and voices through the walls of a house or in open-air locations through the use of a remote microphone.

Part of the equipment is driven by software written by BUG employees. BUG has exclusive contracts with most state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. BUG is thinking about expanding its sales to international markets. Currently, half of its manufacturing plants are in foreign countries and half are in the U.S. The company's logo is a ladybug wearing a set of headphones.

Assignment: Using the scenario above, give detailed answers to the following questions:

3) Walter, a security guard for BUG, learns that Steve really works for WIRETAP. Walter takes Steve to a small soundproof room where he keeps him for six hours. During this time, Walter continues to ask Steve what he is doing at BUG and what information he has given to WIRETAP. Walter tells Steve that he will hurt him if he does not tell him everything. Steve finally tells Walter what he wants to know. Walter then lets Steve go home.

a) Has Walter committed any torts? If so, explain.

b)...Discuss any liability BUG may have for Walter's actions.

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Solution Preview

Hi there!
There are two possibile theories under which Walter and/or BUG could be liable: false imprisonment, assault, and respondeat superior. We'll take them one by one!
The first is false imprisonment. This tort seeks to protect bodily integrity and dignity. Here is its definition: False imprisonment occurs when the Defendant intentionally causes, by acts or threats, the Plaintiff to be totally confined for an unreasonable amount of time within boundaries, physical or intangible, established by Defendant with no reasonable means of escape. The Plaintiff must be aware of the confinement.
Let's go through those elements. Walter intentionally kept Steve in the soundproof room for six hours; it is unlikely that Steve had any reasonable means of escape while in that room. Steve definitely ...

Solution Summary

Theories underlie a case study.