Superstore is a 24-hour grocery store. For safety reasons, Superstore has installed bright lights in its parking lot that turn on in response to loud noises. The lights turn on several times a week, especially during the night, and have caused neighboring home owners to complain of loss of sleep and various adverse health consequences.
One night, Ned and Carl exited Superstore, each carrying a heavy bag. Ned is the publisher of a local newspaper and Carl is a business consultant. As they exited, they accidentally bumped into each other, each causing the other to drop his bag and spill its contents. A loud argument ensued. Ned took several steps toward Carl; Carl threw an orange at Ned and grazed his pant leg without injuring him; and Ned punched Carl in the stomach. The loudness of the argument caused the lights in the parking lot to turn on. Soon, a Superstore security guard arrived and restored order.
The next day, Ned published an account of the incident, calling Carl a "coward and a liar." Carl experienced a substantial decrease in business consulting thereafter.
1. What tort claim or claims can Ned reasonably bring against Carl, and what defense or defenses can Carl reasonably raise?
2. What tort claim or claims can Carl reasonably bring against Ned, and what defense or defenses can Ned reasonably raise?
3. What tort claim or claims can the neighboring homeowners reasonably bring against Superstore?