Caldor v. Bowden

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					                                   Caldor Inc v. Bowden

                                625 A.2d 959 (Md. 1993)


                Plaintiff – Caldor Inc. – National retail chain store

                Defendant –Samuel Bowden – sixteen-year-old employee of Caldor
                Inc, accused of stealing money and merchandise.


        Caldor’s loss prevention personnel accused Bowden of stealing money and
merchandise. Bowden denied the claim. After being interrogated for multiple hours,
Bowden was told if he signed a “voluntary statement” form, made restitution, and
didn’t involve his parents, Caldor wouldn’t call the police. Out of fear, Bowden
signed the form. He told his mother the next day what happened and they returned
to the store, claiming that they wanted to see the videotape evidence of Bowden
stealing the money and merchandise. The store manager (Mehan) refused and
handcuffed Bowden and escorted him thought the lower level of the store out the
front door.

Procedural Posture:

       Bowden filed IIED suit against the D in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
Jury found in favor of Bowden and awarded $25,000 in damages for IIED.
Defendants filed for JNWV on the IIED claim. The circuit court granted the motion.
Bowden appealed.

         Whether Bowden’s injury was severe enough for a claim for IIED?




         The court affirms the circuit court’s granting of JNWV for the IIED claim.


       Four elements essential to establish intentional infliction of emotional
         1.     The conduct must be intentional or reckless;
         2.     The conduct must be extreme and outrageous;
       3.     There must be a casual connection between the wrongful conduct and
              the emotional distress;
       4.     The emotional distress must be severe

Legal Reasoning:

        Court focused on Bowden’s severity of distress. The court found that for
emotional distress to be considered severe, it must be so acute that no reasonable
man could be expected to endure it. The court reasoned that Bowden’s distress may
have been just uncomfortable. None of the effects of Bowden’s emotional distress
indicated that he had been severely disabled with prevented his ability to carry out
his daily activities. Not only did Bowden continue his normal activities, but he got
medical attention just before litigation started.

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