It's about to be a what? Girlfight! A slap heard 'round the fashion world earlier this week has led to a $1 million injury lawsuit.
The Fashion Week fracas can be traced back to the FDNY. Moments before show time, fire marshals removed about 60 seats, mostly from the front row, of the Zac Posen show at Avery Fisher Hall. Veteran publicist Lynn Tesoro, who has worked for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Giorgio Armani, tried to handle the situation as her vast experience dictated, reports Women's Wear Daily.
Jennifer Eymere, the editor of French fashion mag Jalouse, was upset that her mother didn't have a seat after the fire marshal mix-up. The argument eventually escalated to the point where Eymere reportedly slapped Tesoro after Tesoro allegedly spoke rudely to the French ladies. When asked about the slap, Eymere told Women's Wear Daily that she warned Tesoro not to be rude to her mom. When Tesoro persisted, she let loose with a little physical reinforcement.
"It was a small slap. It was not strong. I didn't hurt her, it was just to humiliate her. She humiliated my mom, and I humiliated her in front of her crew. Voilà. I just said at the end, 'Now you know you don't f--k with French people.'"
Drop knowledge, sista! Regulate on those pretentious Americans!
Of course, because the French aren't allowed to win anything, Tesoro decided to continue the battle -- in court. Her $1 million lawsuit alleges assault, battery, emotional distress, slander and/or libel.
We've covered emotional distress a lot lately. As we've said before, it's a standard claim that often gets tacked on to lawsuits, but rarely results in anything more than wasted ink and a dismissal.
Emotional distress requires "extreme and outrageous conduct." A love tap probably doesn't qualify. It also usually requires some physical symptom of injury, unless there was a duty to the alleged victim (such as doctor-patient). So unless Tesoro is having nightmares and irritable bowel syndrome, we're guessing the emotional distress claim won't survive the initial proceedings.
Assault and battery, on the other hand, should be actionable. Eymere admitted to the battery, which is simply a harmful or offensive touch. Assault is the fear of an imminent harmful or offensive touch. So if Tesoro saw Eymere's open hand of fury coming, assault is also an actionable claim.
As for "slander and/or libel," details on the defamatory statements haven't leaked yet. But given the Frenchwoman's demonstrated grasp of English curse words, we're guessing it involved profanity and anti-American rhetoric.
- Consult a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Fordham University Law Launches Fashion Law Institute (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- Skinny Jeans Can Permanently Injure You ... Products Liability? (FindLaw's New York Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Fashion Designs to Get Copyright Protection? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise Blog)