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”

  1. Megyn, I am troubled by your response to this story. I was sexually assaulted repeatedly as a child. My attacker came at all hours, in many different places. I never knew when or where it would happen. I developed PTSD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks . . . and to this day, at 54 years old, I still have over-the-top reactions to events which surprise me. Mental illness is a debilitating illness. It is one that others can’t see. Just because you don’t see someone have a physical injury does not mean they were not injured. I thought you were better than this. By better, I mean smarter. You are a professional, act like one. Keep your insensitive and ignorant sense of humor to yourself. Stick to the facts.

  2. Megyn says she the sense of humor of a 9 year old boy…That’s funny.

    Hey Megyn, “Pull My Finger”

  3. Kelly;

    The equivalent here is an actor dressed as a cop standing in your doorway and explaining to you that your spouse, better yet your child, was just killed in an accident. Still sound as funny to you?

  4. Only in the new socialist states of America is this even discussed. Sue Sue Sue…. Sheesh, can noone take a joke in this country anymore?

  5. The guy shooting the spitting mail box is lucky that it wasn’t a person inside pushing the mail back out. Or was it a person inside who is no longer alive? Manslaughter? Justifiable homicide?

  6. The deer lady is Donna and it’s legit. She really was confused. Of course she heard from all sorts of people who straightened her out. She’s accepted that she was ignorant and that it was funny.

  7. bettykath, LOL! Best video in a long time. The fact that she’s from Fargo makes that great flick even a bit more enjoyable. Her driving doesn’t scare me as much as the fact that she is allowed to vote!

  8. Copy that, OS.

    The really scary part is that gal is allowed to drive in the first place. Or out of the house without a minder for that matter. Also, her idea of moving them to school crossings is the idea of someone who thinks deer are like they are in “Bambi”. I’m thinking stags in rut and kids are not a good mix. A cloven hoof to the head or an antler to the gut is a bad way to start off the school year.

  9. I don’t get it. I only watched the first 2 segments but seeing someone down on their knees in abject terror for some reason, does not want to make me laugh. I saw post from thread about 2 1/2 men and coarsening of society. That people think others in fear and being hurt is funny, that is coarsening of society. (I never got funniest home videos for same reason, altho much tamer, much of it seemed to be about people hurting themselves or getting hurt.)

  10. I think we all need to lighten up a bit. Our litigation loving culture is probably why this did not happen here.

  11. lolol, There is concrete thinking and then there is concrete thinking. I would have hated to have taught this woman when she was a kid.

  12. Yes, there could be lawsuits stemming from this sort of behavior. Personally I was waiting for the person who broke out a gun, a machete, or simply their fists and attacked the “ghost”.

    Main reason any lawsuits are rare is in those cases where it isn’t staged the idea of getting a bit of celebrity by being on the television will cause people to accept far worse things than this prank.

  13. P Smith, I hurt my groin just watching that guy kick so high!!.

    Poetic justice?

    This convinces me that Suh ( a detroit lion football player) accidently on purpose connected with intent, his foot with the “coin purse” of Shaub the houston quarterback.

    People that are physically well trained can do amazing things.

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