The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
In Thompson v. Caldwell (S.D.N.Y.), filed Saturday, Courtney Thompson is claiming that Stunna's (Khalick Antonio Caldwell's) and Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment's employees—Michael Awute and an unknown John Doe—beat up Thompson at Flight Club, a Manhattan sneaker store. Thompson is claiming he was hit in the face and kicked in the head, and is suing for at least $400,000 plus punitive damages.
Now if I beat you up in a sneaker store (not that I would!), you couldn't get a recovery against UCLA (or against my dean), unless I was somehow on the job. So what is the plaintiff's theory?
19. Defendant Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, LLC is a music company that promotes itself as violent and murderous group.
20. Both the principals and agents of Defendant Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, LLC, including Defendant Caldwell, frequently encourage violence by their employees and agents, through their music and actions.
21. The principals and agents of Defendant Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, LLC, including Defendant Caldwell, regularly boast publicly about paying others to commit acts of violence on their behalf.
22. At all relevant times, Defendants Awute and Doe were acting as employees and agents of Defendants Caldwell and Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, LLC. Their acts of violence toward Plaintiff were instigated, condoned, and/or authorized by Defendants Caldwell and Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, LLC.
Time will tell whether this claim is going anywhere (and I should stress that I can't speak to the factual allegations, which are just part of the plaintiff's Complaint, not of any court finding). But I'm skeptical, unless there are some specific facts—beyond just loose claims of "encourag[ing] violence" or even of public boasts with regard to violence by others—that show that Awute and Doe did indeed attack Caldwell as a part of their jobs.
Topically related, though not necessarily legally relevant: DaBaby Fires Warning Shot to Hecklers After Fan Beatdown in Mall; Da Baby Posts Video of Him Beating Up Rival Rapper; DaBaby Sued; DaBaby's Alleged Assault Victim Says He Beat Up Stunna 4 Vegas.