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Picard v. Barry Pontiac‑Buick, Inc.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island
436 A.2d 690 (1995)


Facts

In response to a dispute over repairs, Picard (plaintiff) brought a camera to the repair shop of her automobile dealer, Barry Pontiac‑Buick, Inc. (defendant), and took a picture of one of the dealer’s employees (defendant). The employee admitted pointing his finger at Picard, approaching Picard, asking who gave her permission to take his picture, and placing his index finger on the camera that was in Picard’s hand. Picard brought claims for assault and battery. She was awarded substantial compensatory damages and punitive damages. Pontiac‑Buick and its employee appeal, arguing that Picard failed to prove assault or battery because Picard was not placed in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm, and because there was no evidence that the employee intended to touch Picard.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lederberg, J.)

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