Video Raises Questions of Liability for Prank

This video (on YouTube) raises a long-standing question of the liability for stupid pranks. This woman is clearly and understandably traumatized by what appears a well-orchestrated prank by what appears to be a television show, She clearly did not consent and is clearly harmed emotionally by the prank.

The most obvious torts would be intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as trespass to chattel (for the car). There is also negligence. I cannot imagine why anyone would think it would be funny to have anyone, let alone a masked individual, in the car of a woman alone at night.

12 thoughts on “Video Raises Questions of Liability for Prank”

  1. Should we take all TV shows at face value? Do you think Jerry Springer is real too? Has anyone considered she signed a release prior to the taping or could have been faking in any kind of way? Think about it…

  2. Thet’re lucky she jumped out the window of the car rather than flooring the accelerator. Would she have been at fault if she ran over the goul in that case?

  3. Also imagine if her third freakout had resulted in her trying to run over the “ghost.”

    I looked up the name of the show. Que Locura! is filmed in Venezuela, but Univision broadcasts it right in the US. I’d assume there aren’t any good ways to apply American jurisdiction or law, though.

  4. I clearly have no sense of humor. I found that very sad and not the least bit funny. It definitely seems as if she’d have a case for infliction of emotional distress. Fortunately the people who played the prank were nice enough to film the evidence for her.

  5. Wow. Playing this for a jury would be like opening a freaking cash machine.

  6. I don’t think this was done in the US. Thank goodness she wasn’t armed. Then it might have been REALLY funny.

    Somebody might have died laughing…

  7. Some people consider slapstick the lowest form of comedy.

    I’ve always considered “practical jokes” a much more infantile form that say much more about the deficiencies of the player than of the victim.

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