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Alcorn v. Anbro Engineering, Inc.

Supreme Court of California
468 P.2d 216 (1970)


Manuel Alcorn (plaintiff) was a black man employed as a truck driver by Anbro Engineering, Inc. (Anbro) (defendant). One day, Alcorn told his Caucasian foreman and supervisor, Palmer, that Alcorn had informed another Anbro employee that the employee should not drive a truck to a certain site because the employee was not a member of the teamster’s union. In response, Palmer allegedly shouted at Alcorn, made demeaning remarks about Alcorn’s race, and informed Alcorn that he would be fired after completing his next assignment. Alcorn completed his job and reported the incident to Thomas Anderson Sr., one of Anbro’s owners. Anderson supported and ratified the comments made by Palmer, further demoralizing Alcorn. As a result of the events, Alcorn suffered humiliation, mental and physical distress, and physical illness, and was unable to work for weeks. Alcorn brought an action against Anbro and its employees to recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. At trial, the trial court granted Anbro’s demurrer to Alcorn’s third amended complaint, and Alcorn’s claim was dismissed. Alcorn appealed the decision.

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Holding and Reasoning (Burke, J.)

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