Herman Schafley (“Herman”), a new immigrant to the United States, answers an internet E-Bay advertisement offering various pieces of used furniture for sale by Jon
Herman Schafley (“Herman”), a new immigrant to the United States, answers an internet E-Bay advertisement offering various pieces of used furniture for sale by Jon Smith (“Smith”), a college student returning to his family home in suburban Chicago after graduating from his university. When Herman comes to the apartment of Smith to purchase the collection for the advertised $200 price, he gets in an argument with Smith over whether a sofa partially 4 included in the advertisement photograph is part of the offered items or not. Holding his fist in the air, and after slapping down $200 on the kitchen table, Herman tells the student he will “clean his clock” if he doesn’t let him take the disputed sofa along with the other items. The student reluctantly agrees, and Herman leaves, with the furniture (including the disputed sofa). On his way out the door, Herman knocks an expensive flower vase of Smith’s on to the floor, shattering it beyond repair, saying “that serves you right, you miserable kid – you better lock your door tonight”. Frightened by the unexpected and hostile turn of events, and shaken from the drama, Smith faints, falling on the floor and breaking his nose. Later, he calls the police, who come to the apartment and discuss the situation with him. The police tell Smith they will investigate the matter, but urge him to go to the hospital for his nose injury, and further recommend that he see a lawyer. Smith comes to you for legal advice regarding any claims or recourse he may have against Herman for his conduct. What’s your advice? Specifically, address whether Smith has any civil causes of action against Herman. Be specific and evaluate the merits of each. Include a consideration of any defenses Herman might raise, as well as potential remedies (damages).
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