Joke or Tort: Elevator Prank Raises The Question of Liability After The Laughs

We have previously discussed the potential liability stemming from pranks. This video sent to me by a former student seems the perfect avenue for an infliction of emotional distress claim or negligence claim after inducing a heart attack in the subject.

The little creepy girl chasing the one man adds another opportunity for injury that we can see in other cases.

The prank is actually well-done and it is precisely the care for detail that makes it so creepy and frightful. Notably, the subjects obviously did not consent to be scared and did not assume the risk. Any resulting harm, therefore, would likely be found an intentional or reckless act.

What do you think?

Kudos: Jake Kartchner

49 thoughts on “Joke or Tort: Elevator Prank Raises The Question of Liability After The Laughs”

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  2. Betty, thanks so much for that video; I hadn’t seen it, it totally rocks! Can’t believe that it has over 10,000,000 hits on it since November 8th! It deserves it though; I couldn’t stop laughing! Sounds like some people didn’t watch her follow up, AFTERwards! HAH! Posting it here; it was really cute too! To hear what happened to her as soon as she hung up and started getting the calls from people who knew her! TOO funny!

  3. BrianM, My daughter loved “pull my finger” as a kid. And, I can really rip them. With trepidations, I taught her how to light a fart.

  4. Unbelievable !! I just found this video, I am going to send it to my 3 month old grandson.(his mom and dad may help him view it).

    At 2min30secs this baby laughs. The full viewing is great, especially for recent grandfathers. Those less enthused yet still interested I suggest starting at two minutes. At 230 the babys FIRST laugh is prompted by a ……… drum roll please ***** a Boo !!! yes air does hit the babies face from the boo sayer, but the coincidence of me finding this just now after my last comment, is cause for me to post it.

  5. I have a book that has the full Grimms fairy tales in it. Absolutely gruesome.
    It should be called “Stories to scare children to death”

    Fortunately I came by this book as an adult. I had the old run of the mill “you’re going to burn in hell and suffer for eternity” stories of established Religion :o) …. My simple question is WHY ??

  6. ann printz, in an above comment I mentioned that I said Boo to a customer. The reaction she showed shamed me for doing this “innocent act” I believe I triggered something in her that turned my “little” attempt at humor into a powerful negative reaction. I have learned and remembered.

    I just read many responses to this cruel prank on Huff Po.

    I would like to know why I as a youth accepted this behavior, and so many adults still do. It is so common and I believe world wide, I almost think it is ingrained in us and there is some evolutionary reason for it. ???

    My reasoning mind, finds pranks as terrible as this cruel. My animal (?) psyche reacted to it initially in a way most uncomfortable to my reason.

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