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Brower v. Ackerley

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Brower commenced an assault claim against Ackerley for making threatening phone calls to Brower.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Words alone cannot constitute assault.

    Facts.

    Brower filed suit against Ackerley for making threatening phone calls to Brower. When Ackerley was not held accountable for failing the provide the City of Seattle with permits for their billboards and proper accounting for their billboards, Brower filed suit to enforce billboard regulations. Ackerley continued to call Brower 20 months thereafter. When the trial court dismissed Brower’s assault claim, Brower appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether words alone can constitute assault?

    Held.

    No. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Ackerley’s threatening comments failed to put Brower in apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact.

    Discussion.

    Words alone cannot constitute assault unless they are accompanied by actions that places the plaintiff in apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact.


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