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Hardy v. LaBelle’s Distributing Co.

Montana Supreme Court
661 P.2d 35 (1983)


Facts

Hardy (plaintiff) was a temporary employee at LaBelle’s Distributing Co. (LaBelle’s) (defendant). An employee of LaBelle’s thought she saw Hardy steal a watch that LaBelle’s had in stock and reported it to her manager. One morning the manager approached Hardy and told Hardy that all new employees were given a tour of the store. The manager brought Hardy into his office with the showroom manager and two policemen and then left and closed the door. They told Hardy that she had been accused of stealing a watch, a charge that she denied. The meeting lasted 25 to 45 minutes. Hardy wanted to stay in the meeting to clear her name and she eventually took and passed a lie detector test. Hardy sued LaBelle’s for false imprisonment. The jury returned a verdict in favor of LaBelle’s. Hardy appealed to the Supreme Court of Montana.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gulbrandonson, J.)

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