Once upon a time, in the fictional town of Baloney, a wealthy family, the Kitch’s, owned a large chemical complex that employed 90% of the town’s residents. The Kitch family sponsored an annual barbeque at the home of one their employees and it was thought to be a great honor to be the host.
This year, Bob Houston was selected to be the host. Bob lived next to a nature preserve and, as a result, there was lots of room for tents and a bandstand. Bob made sure his insurance was in place and he signed the customary Non-Disclosure Agreement that the Kitch family used for all of their activities. On the barbeque day, a caravan of trucks arrived, tents and stages were constructed, and hundreds of guests ate and drank to their hearts content. Mr. Kitch showed up and said hello to virtually everyone.
At the end of the day, while the clean-up was starting, Mr. Kitch excused himself and went into Bob’s house. Bob found Mr. Kitch pulling up his pants in the living room and there, on Bob’s sofa, was a pile of turds. “Well,” said Mr. Kitch, “you didn’t expect me to use my own bathroom, did you?”
Outside, the clean up crew was throwing garbage into the nature preserve a few feet off of Bob’s property. It was already beginning to smell. Bob’s wife, Angela, was in tears and Bob’s neighbors were already objecting to the garbage that was visible (and soon smellable) from their adjoining properties.
As Mr. Kitch was leaving, Bob ran up to him and got right up in his face.
“Are you going to clean up here.” “Bob, no, I’m not. But you can sue me if you like. It’s probably $1,000 for the sofa and $1,500 to clean up the garbage outside and $250 for the fine. I’ll argue consent. By the way, it’s in our standard NDA. It’s a 50–50 case, so, in a year or so, I’ll offer to settle for $1,375. It was going to cost me $1,500 to do the cleanup anyway so I’m ahead a bit. I think that a lawyer is going to cost you a lot more than that but, may not. I’ve got lawyers on staff so defending won’t cost me a penny.” And with that, Mr. Kitch smiled and waved good-bye.
Bob called the police. “Were there any witnesses to Mr. Kitch’s ‘actions?’” “Well, no,” said Bob. “Sorry Bob, there’s not a lot we can do. But, you really do have to cleanup the garbage. We won’t issue a ticket today but we’ll come back in a few days to check on you.”
Bob called his insurance company to file a damage claim: the sofa was damaged beyond repair and a cleanup crew…