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Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Torts Keyed to Prosser

Citation. Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc., 424 S.W.2d 627, 1967 Tex. LEXIS 267, 11 Tex. Sup. J. 143 (Tex. Dec. 27, 1967).

Brief Fact Summary. At a professional conference held in Defendant’s hotel, one of Defendant’s employees seized a plate from the Plaintiff’s hand, shouting that a “Negro could not be served in the club”ť. Defendant’s employee did not make physical contact with Plaintiff, but the event was witnessed by many of Plaintiff’s colleagues. Plaintiff sought actual and punitive damages for assault and battery.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A Plaintiff may recover for battery even when not physically touched so long as the Defendant committed an unwanted an intentional invasion of the inviolability of the Plaintiff’s person.

Facts. Plaintiff sued for assault and battery when Defendant’s employee forcibly removed a plate from Plaintiff’s hand, but did not actually make physical contact with Plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict of $400 for actual damages and $500 in punitive damages. The trial court, however, set aside the verdict because no actual physical contact was made with Plaintiff.

Issue. Did the trial court correctly set aside the jury’s verdict because no actual physical contact was made with the Plaintiff?
* May actual damages stemming from mental suffering be awarded when no physical contact occurred?

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