Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc.

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtDOOLING; NOURSE, P. J., and GOODELL
Citation216 P.2d 571,96 Cal.App.2d 793
PartiesBOWDEN v. SPIEGEL, Inc. Civ. 14190.
Decision Date04 April 1950

Page 571

216 P.2d 571
96 Cal.App.2d 793
BOWDEN

v.
SPIEGEL, Inc.
Civ. 14190.
District Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California.
April 4, 1950.

Arthur Debeau Carr, Kenneth W. Donelson, Frances M. Newell, Mary Ann Winters, Antioch, for appellant.

Page 572

Tinning & De Lap, J. Vance Porlier, Richmond, for respondent.

DOOLING, Justice.

Plaintiff appeals from an adverse judgment entered after the sustaining of a general demurrer to her first amended complaint without leave to amend.

The allegations of the first amended complaint may be summarized as follows: Defendant Spiegel, Inc., is a corporation operating retail stores under the name of Federal Stores. Defendant First Doe as agent of the corporate defendant on May 28, 1948, telephoned to the home of one Prator at about 11 p. m. and asked for plaintiff. Prator's daughter, who had answered the telephone, asked if it was an emergency call and First Doe replied that it was. The daughter then walked down the street to plaintiff's home and told plaintiff [96 Cal.App.2d 794] that there was an emergency telephone call for plaintiff at the Prator residence. When plaintiff reached the telephone she asked: 'What is the matter?' and First Doe replied: 'Please bear up. I know this is going to be a shock; it is as much of a shock to me to have to tell you as it will be to you.' Plaintiff answered that she could take the message whereupon First Doe stated: 'This is the Federal Outfitting Company--why don't you pay your bill?' Plaintiff attempted to explain that she owed nothing and First Doe replied that he was going to take her to court and that would cost her a lot of money--'unless you come into the Federal Store in Pittsburg tomorrow morning at ten, I am going to cause you a lot of trouble.' The entire Prator family listened to plaintiff's end of the conversation. Plaintiff did not owe the company any money. First Doe acted as hereinabove set out maliciously and with intent to vex, harass and annoy plaintiff and with no probable cause. As a result plaintiff is sick and ill and will remain so for an indefinite time.

That the above facts, if true, spell out a cause of action we have no doubt. In Emden v. Vitz, 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 198 P.2d 696, the defendants after locking plaintiff out of her apartment took her to the apartment house office and there used toward her violent and abusive language as a result of which she suffered emotional distress and conseuqent physical illness for which she was awarded damages. On appeal the defendants argued, 88 Cal.App.2d 316, 198 P.2d 698, 'that there can be no cause of action for personal injuries resulting from fright caused chiefly by spoken words alone.' The court, after a review of authorities, stated, 88...

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39 practice notes
  • Shepard v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 19, 1977
    ...472, 474, 28 Cal.Rptr. 898; Vargas v. Ruggiero (1961) 197 Cal.App.2d 709, 717-718, 17 Cal.Rptr. 568; Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950) 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 794-795, 216 P.2d 571; Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 316-319, 198 P.2d 696). It is also well settled that a plaintiff who sustains......
  • Ignat v. Yum! Brands, Inc., G046343
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 18, 2013
    ...48 Cal.L.Rev. at p. 394.) California case law from both before and after 1960 bears out his opinion. In Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc., supra, 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 216 P.2d 571, the plaintiff sued for emotional distress after a debt collector telephoned a neighboring family and asked to speak to the......
  • Lyons v. Zale Jewelry Co., No. 42382
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 18, 1963
    ...91 A.L.R. 1491; Kirby v. Jules Chain Stores Corp., supra; Continental Casualty Co. v. Garrett, supra; Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950), 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 216 P.2d In Clark v. Associated Retail Credit Men, supra, the Court in holding the defendant liable for damages resulting from abusive let......
  • Golden v. Dungan
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1971
    ...immediate actor was proceeding under color of process issued in that lawsuit. The plaintiffs rely upon Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950) 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 794--795, 216 P.2d 571. There it was alleged that an agent of the defendant store operator telephoned to the home of a neighbor of the pla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
39 cases
  • Shepard v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 19, 1977
    ...472, 474, 28 Cal.Rptr. 898; Vargas v. Ruggiero (1961) 197 Cal.App.2d 709, 717-718, 17 Cal.Rptr. 568; Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950) 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 794-795, 216 P.2d 571; Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 316-319, 198 P.2d 696). It is also well settled that a plaintiff who sustains......
  • Ignat v. Yum! Brands, Inc., G046343
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 18, 2013
    ...48 Cal.L.Rev. at p. 394.) California case law from both before and after 1960 bears out his opinion. In Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc., supra, 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 216 P.2d 571, the plaintiff sued for emotional distress after a debt collector telephoned a neighboring family and asked to speak to the......
  • Lyons v. Zale Jewelry Co., No. 42382
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 18, 1963
    ...91 A.L.R. 1491; Kirby v. Jules Chain Stores Corp., supra; Continental Casualty Co. v. Garrett, supra; Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950), 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 216 P.2d In Clark v. Associated Retail Credit Men, supra, the Court in holding the defendant liable for damages resulting from abusive let......
  • Golden v. Dungan
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1971
    ...immediate actor was proceeding under color of process issued in that lawsuit. The plaintiffs rely upon Bowden v. Spiegel, Inc. (1950) 96 Cal.App.2d 793, 794--795, 216 P.2d 571. There it was alleged that an agent of the defendant store operator telephoned to the home of a neighbor of the pla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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