May 17, 2014

Fisher v. Carousel Motor Hotel - 424 S.W.2d 627 (1967) - Supreme Court of Texas

Facts: Plaintiff went to a conference and at the buffet luncheon an employee took his plate and said that "a Negro could not be served in the club."  Plaintiff was hurt and highly embarrassed by the action but was not touched by the employee.

Procedural History: Jury returned a verdict awarding the plaintiff $400 actual damages and $500 punitive.  Trial court set the damages aside.  Court of Appeals affirmed.

Issue: Does taking an object away from someone without actually touching them constitute a battery?

Holding: Yes

Rationale: Anything a person is holding can or that can be regarded as part of their body, cannot be touched.  Unpermitted or intentional contact create a battery.

Disposition: Reversed and reinstated ($900 plus interests and court costs)