Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Food Lion, Inc. v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
194 F.3d 505 (1999)



Television producers working for Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. (ABC) (defendant) received a tip that Food Lion, Inc. (Food Lion) (plaintiff) grocery stores were mishandling meats. Lynne Dale and Susan Barnett (defendants) were ABC reporters. Dale and Barnett believed they could investigate the meat-mishandling claims by working inside a Food Lion location. Dale and Barnett fabricated resumes, references, and addresses to secure jobs in the deli and meat departments at Food Lions in South Carolina and North Carolina. While working at the Food Lions, Dale and Barnett secretly videotaped Food Lion employees in the meat department and collected 45 hours of footage. ABC aired the video footage, which showed Food Lion employees repackaging expired fish and grinding expired ground beef with fresh ground beef. Food Lion sued ABC and the reporters. Food Lion alleged that the reporters breached their duty of loyalty to Food Lion by investigating Food Lion while acting as Food Lion employees. At trial, the jury found Dale and Barnett liable for breach of the duty of loyalty. After trial, ABC, Dale and Barnett moved for judgment as a matter of law, and the motion was denied. ABC, Dale, and Barnett appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Michael, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial