Margarita Monday Woes

Oct 25, 2017

Madison Harwell, Pepperdine student

While the situation is unfortunate and the typical reaction is to get justice by suing your potential employers at PeR, LMYou, and maybe even the aggregator Dine magazine - That claim is unfound referring to the ruling of Neiman Marcus v. Lait and Weinstein v. Bullick. While there is a cause of action because I'm hypothetically a member of a small class being the student organization abbreviated PEP, their reasoning in not hiring me after the interview stage is found and not a discrimination based on race, sex, age, religion, or disability. Due to the case of Weinstein v. Bullick, because Dine magazine did not include my name and the article was not concerning myself directly, my case would not hold up in a court of law. In this case, because I was not named in the article the court would have to determine if a reader of the magazine could reasonably have concluded that the account referred to myself individually.

Although if you decided to go after your supposed friend who caused your professional headache in the first place since this took place in California it's possible to option a suit with the case basis of Intentional Interference With Prospective Economic Relations. With this hypothetically I would have to be able to prove the notion, that the friend in question was wrong in her actions. Especially that her conduct was a substantial factor in causing me harm, and that by engaging in her conduct she "intended to disrupt the relationship/ [or] knew that disruption of the relationship was certain or substantially certain to occur."

This law particularly is pulling from the authority of Settimo Associates v. Environ Systems, Inc. (1993) where the verdict states, "The tort of intentional or negligent interference with prospective economic advantage imposes liability for improper methods of disrupting or diverting the business relationship of another which fall outside the boundaries of fair competition." Additionally, in California the verdict of Youst v. Longo (1987), whereas the "five elements for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage are: (1) [a]n economic relationship between the plaintiff and some third party, with the probability of future economic benefit to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant's knowledge of the relationship; (3) intentional acts on the part of the defendant designed to disrupt the relationship; (4) actual disruption of the relationship; and (5) economic harm to the plaintiff proximately caused by the acts of the defendant."

Overall, the more likely case is against the former "friend' who might be already entertaining a defamation suit form the Margarita Monday staff if she singled out any particular servers in her tweets.


Madison Harwell, a student in Jon Pfeiffer's Fall 2017 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the prompt:

You are an active member of a student organization called PEP and are currently the top candidate to land a position at PeR, a cutting-edge PR firm in Santa Monica, after graduation. Your friend who runs the PEP twitter account hits Margarita Monday too hard and tweets some very racist and sexual things about the restaurant staff. Very scandalous. In the morning, the tweets are picked up by Dine., a magazine that caters to all things food and drink in LA. The story goes viral and people start referring to PEP and its members as racist, sexist bigots. All of a sudden, PeR gives you the cold shoulder. Not only PeR, but also your fall back job, LMYou, shut you down.

Should you sue? Who? Would your case have merit?

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