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Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Citation. Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications, 92 Ohio App. 3d 232 (Ohio Ct. App., Hamilton County Jan. 26, 1994)

Brief Fact Summary. Leichtman (Plaintiff) brought an action against defendants, WLW Jacor Communications, host, and smoker for battery, invasion of privacy, and a violation of a Cincinnati, Ohio ordinance, alleging that a radio station co-host repeatedly blew smoke in his face. The Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (Ohio) dismissed his complaint. Plaintiff appealed

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The blowing of smoke on one’s person meets the requirements of a cause of action for battery because, however trivial the incident, when the elements of the cause of action are met (in this case battery, i.e., when the defendant acts intending to cause an offensive or harmful contact and an offensive or harmful contact actually results) the court must permit a cause of action.

Facts. The guest entered the radio studio to make a public radio appearance with the host. At the host’s urging, the smoker repeatedly blew cigar smoke in the guest’s face. The guest contended that his complaint was sufficient to sustain a claim of battery.

Issue. Does the blowing of smoke on one’s person constitute battery?
* Were the guest’s claims invasion of his privacy and violation of a local non-smoking regulation sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss?
* Does the doctrine of respondeat superior (an employer’s being liable for the actions of his or her employees) apply, i.e., was the employee was acting within the scope of employment?

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