Monday, August 13, 2007
Man Sues Florist for Revealing Extramarital Affair
Lawsuits these days are getting ridiculous, but does this one have some validity? I saw this one this morning on Good Morning America...
Leroy Greer, a car salesman, called 1-800-flowers.com and sent flowers to his girlfriend. 1-800-flowers.com subsequently sent a receipt to Leroy’s house. The trouble? Leroy shares his house with his wife, who thus discovered Leroy has a girlfriend.
Leroy says, at the time, he had been in the process of getting divorced, but had hoped to reconcile with this wife. Now she’s set on splitting and demanding a much larger settlement. He’s asked for $1 million from the florist. But, so far, the florist ain’t paying.
Upon hearing his story, most of us instinctually think Leroy’s a little nuts. He’s not exactly a sympathetic character, and it’s hard to imagine anyone being a “victim” because their extramarital affair was discovered.
But in fairness to poor Leroy, 1-800-flowers.com does appear to have made a mistake. He explicitly asked them not to send anything to his home, and they assured him that wouldn’t happen. If his account is accurate, they proffered a service – discretely delivering flowers – and they failed to deliver.
Now, pretend for a moment that those flowers were intended for a surprise Anniversary Party. Let’s say that rather than cheating on his wife, Leroy had invested countless hours and thousands of dollars planning a surprise bash celebrating her. And let’s say that by sending a receipt to their house, 1-800-flowers.com had ruined that surprise, undoing months of planning and leading to the loss of all that money spent on deposits, decorations, travel for friends, etc. Would Leroy deserve some sort of compensation in return?
If you think so, then you have to acknowledge Leroy’s lawsuit might not be insane after all. The morality of his behavior should be irrelevant to the responsibility the florist bears for doing what they promise.