Litigation value: $200,000 for Andy’s severe emotional distress. Possible future litigation for his termination.
Not subtle. Not subtle at all. Nellie has already usurped Andy’s manager status. Then she hauls Andy and his coworkers into a conference room and writes “IMPOTENCE” in bright red letters on the flip chart. Robert California sits there, amused by the whole spectacle.
The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress has four elements: (1) extreme and outrageous conduct (2) inflicted intentionally or recklessly (3) that caused emotional distress, and (4) the distress was severe. Applying these factors to this episode, Andy has a viable action against Dunder Mifflin.
The conduct was certainly extreme or outrageous. Nellie, with Robert’s authority, convened a meeting that revealed Andy’s impotence to the rest of the staff. The conduct was intentional. Nellie, again with Robert’s authority, wrote IMPOTENCE on the flip chart in flaming red caps. The conduct clearly caused Andy emotional distress that was severe. “That poor wall,” Daryl sighed, as Andy punched his fist through it for the second time. And on top of all this, Robert legitimized Nellie’s mutiny by ordering Andy to step down from his manager position … and he may have done so because he wants to sleep with Nellie. This is a lawsuit for a future episode.
There’s really no takeaway lesson from the “Angry Andy” episode. The company’s conduct was obviously deplorable. One almost wishes the show’s writers had just gone all in and let Dwight show everyone in the conference room why he described himself as The Washington Monument.
That’s what Dwight said. What do you say? Let us know.