Jack and Jill are employed by Jumpin’Java Coffee, a coffeehouse chain in the NYC area. Just before the store was to close at 10:00 pm a customer came and ordered a coffee. Jill served the customer who promptly went to the sitting area and sat down to enjoy his coffee and opened up his laptop. Jill upon seeing this went over to the customer and told him that they were closing in 5 minutes. Jill then went about her closing chores which included mopping the customer area, which she had been repeatedly told by Jumpin Java management not to do until the store was empty and the front door lockd. At 10:05 when the customer still hadn’t finished, Jack went up to him and asked him politely to leave. The customer said he would leave when he was finished downloading this document. Jack politely asked again for the customer to leave again but he just continued to sit there waiting for the download to finish. At which point Jack walked back to the storeroom and turned off the router. Jack then walked over to the register and rang up a refund which he gave to the customer and told him he could walk out on his own or he would be thrown out. The customer then hurriedly packed up and on his way out slipped and fell on the wet floor. Jill helped him up and got him out the door which she locked behind him. Once outside, the customer started yelling how he was going to sue Jack and he was a “f------ a------“. Jack apparently had enough of the customer so he went outside to the sidewalk took the customer’s laptop out of his backback and started to pummel the customer on his head with the laptop. Two weeks later Jumpin Java, Jack and Jill are all served with a summons and complaint by the customer who alleged that they were liable to him for the broken wrist he incurred when he slipped on the wet floor and for a broken laptop.
Is Jumpin Java liable to the customer for the damages due to the broken wrist? Jack? Jill?
Jumpin Java should not held liable for this situation and nor should Jack. Jumpin Java developed a clear policy that stated that she must wait for the last customer to leave before she can begin the mopping of the floor in the customer area. Regardless of how late the customer stayed passed closing, it was Jill’s duty to wait until he left before she can start mopping the floor.
Is Jumpin Java liable to the customer for the damages to the laptop? Jack, Jill?
What are the factors a court would look at in determining Jumpin Java’s potential liability?
Jumpin Java is not liable for the broken damages as its customer liability to protect its belonging. Secondly there has been no physical contact with employees when damages occured.
However the policy states that mopping cannot be done untill customers leave, so in that case the employer can punish thr employees for misconduct or breach.
Thr court cannot however held Jumpin Java for broken damages as the damages were unintentional and not seeked to harm the customer and nor was any physical conduct or forceful act or misbehaviour held.
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