To assert a claim for false imprisonment, the plaintiff must show that: (1) the defendant intended to confine him, (2) the plaintiff was conscious of the confinement, (3) the plaintiff did not consent to the confinement, and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged.
Police officers transported the plaintiff and another man, who appeared to be drunk, outside city limits and left them near a highway without orienting the two of their whereabouts. The men wandered onto the highway where plaintiff was severely injured and his companion killed. Plaintiff sued for false imprisonment and negligence. The complaint was dismissed. Plaintiff appealed.
Did the trial court correctly dismiss the complaint for false imprisonment on account that the plaintiff was not conscious of his imprisonment?
The Supreme Court reversed because the lower court dismissed the false imprisonment claim after determining that plaintiff was not conscious of his imprisonment, but court improperly determined that plaintiff's difficulty in recalling his imprisonment meant that he was not conscious of his imprisonment at the time he was confined. Thus, because the record supported a finding that plaintiff was aware of his arrest when it took place, the matter should have been decided by a jury. Additionally, whether it was reasonably foreseeable that plaintiff might wander onto the highway was also a matter which should have been determined by the jury, not by a directed verdict.