A bit darker than normal, inspired (perversely enough, and with my greatest apologies) by an apparent story of real-life ENF and its ruinous effects at the GirlsPNS board. This is also intended to be more interesting rather than erotic.
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW ESSEX FOR THE COUNTY OF HAVERHIL
David Lee Armacost )
) —- Argued November 5th, 202X
APPELEE: ) Decided November 8th, 202X
Hailey Ann Dewey )
This is an appeal of a civil action in the Circuit Court of Haverhil County involving the appelant David lee Armacost, who was found to have knowingly and willfully caused a situation wherein the appellee Hailey Ann Dewey was disrobed in front of onlookers at a county fair and forced to run nude across the fair. Armacost was found liable for emotional, property, and reputational damages to Dewey by the jury, and ordered to pay the sum of two hundred thousand United States dollars (US$200,000). Armacost appeals the amount of the order, claiming that he could not have reasonably foreseen the emotional affect on the appellee caused by his actions. We are unconvinced by his claims, which are belied by his behavior during the proceedings of the action; we find that his words and actions throughout the case have continuously demonstrated a callous disregard for the appellee. In light of these factors, we concur with the ruling of the Circuit Court and increase the amount of the reward to two hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars (US$250,000), remanding the case back to the Circuit Court for further action.
The facts of the case, interpreted in a light as charitable as possible to the verdicts reached by the jury in the original action, are as follows.
The seventh of July was a Saturday afternoon. Appelant David Lee Armacost (“Armacost”) was working at the Haverhil County Fair for the summer after having graduated high school from George Washington High School a month before. The County Fair was incredibly busy, with many people bustling among its fair booths and rides.
Appellee Hailey Ann Dewey (“Dewey”), a fellow recent graduate of George Washington High School, was attending the fair with her friends. Dewey was considered an attractive woman by members and alumni of the School, and Armacost had confided in his friends his attraction for her. Dewey, however, never knew about Armacost’s desire for her, and considered him an acquaintance. Relevant for the case, Dewey was dressed in sandals and a romper with no underwear.
At just after 3 p.m., Armacost was operating a drop tower ride located at the edge of the fair when Dewey decided to embark it. Dewey was alone in line for the ride, and Armacost decided to play a prank on her. The ride comprises a bench attached to a stationary tower, on which it is propelled up and down in a straight line on a vertical rail. There is a gap between the bench and the rail, in which something can get easily stuck. While checking for people’s seatbelts, Armacost took a loose part of Dewey’s romper and surreptitiously tucked it into the gap. Dewey testified under oath that she felt a tightness in the romper but assumed that she was sitting on it. When the ride shot up the rail, Dewey’s romper was caught and tore off her body, leaving her nude to her horror. She begged Armacost to stop the ride, but he did not. Her screams, meanwhile, caught the attention of fairgoers, who were quick to record her predicament and share it on social media.
When the ride was over, Dewey collected her purse and attempted to run to the fair’s bathrooms, which were located on the opposite side of the fair. A crowd had formed around the ride, and Dewey had to jostle her way through to get to the bathrooms. During that ordeal she was the subject of unwanted sexual contact and gropings. After she got through the crowd she ran across the fair in the nude, where many onlookers continued to record the incident. She eventually got to a bathroom, where she called her friends. After they gathered around for her, one of her friends gave her a shirt to cover herself and they left the fair for their homes. All told, Dewey was nude for a grand total of ten minutes and was nude but for a T-shirt for an added hour.
The social media fallout from this series of events (the “incident”) was such that Dewey had to delete her Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. She also received negative attention from prospective employers and colleges. Her offer to Harvard in the fall was nearly rescinded until she was able to explain the accidental nature of her exposure.
Dewey suffered major psychological trauma from the incident, during which she testified under oath as “fe[eling] like an animal”. Her demeanor became much more timid and reserved as she spent the majority of her time in her room and sleep from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Her relationships deteriorated rapidly, with her breaking up with her boyfriend days after the incident and being taciturn with her friends, to whom she had been catty and gossipy prior to the incident. She always wore dark and baggy clothes while outside, even in unseasonal weather, and refused to wear makeup. Not wishing to be too “womanly”, she refused to wear a bra. Whenever she was driven past the fairgrounds, even well after the fair was over, she would become catatonic. Her performance at her internship at a local law firm declined, and eventually she stopped going to work altogether and was let go from her position. Her personal grooming suffered tremendously; she stopped shaving her legs, and testified under oath that she wore underwear while showering. These adverse affects continued to her physical health; her weight increased by 30 pounds in the months following the incident, and refused to wear tampons, instead wearing pads to prevent any penetration. She eventually developed a yeast infection; when her mother noticed this infection and ordered her to see a gynaecologist, Dewey reacted violently and adversely. After her violent reaction to receiving medical attention, during which she had to be sedated in order to be examined, Dewey’s parents placed her in weekly therapy, where she remains to this day.
Given this damage to Dewey’s psyche and reputation, the Circuit Court awarded Dewey one hundred an ninety-nine thousand United States dollars (US$199,000) for emotional and reputational damages. Given the destructon of her romper, it awarded her another one thousand United States dollars ($1,000) for property damages. Appelant disputes the amount of this award for reasons described below, of which we are unconvinced.
Armacost claims that he could not have reasonably foreseen the consequences of his actions on Dewey, and that the award should thus be reduced to take that into account. We believe such an argument is inconsistent with the evidence at hand.
Armacost’s role in the incident would remain unknown were it not for his words and actions. He bragged about causing it to one of his friends, Alan Westinghouse (“Westinghouse”), who testified under oath for the appellee in the original action. Pursuant to Westinghouse’s testimony, Armacost had known Dewey was nude under her romper due to lighting and shadow, and believed that undressing her would impress his friends and other alumni of George Washington High School. He also felt that Dewey had been cold and disrespectful to him and thus that “stupid slut” deserved to get “what was coming to her”. Westinghouse felt bad about the incident and told Dewey of the whole affair, which catalyzed her filing the original action with the Circuit Court. It was only due to evidentiary concerns that the action was civil rather than criminal. This is in addition to his failure to stop the ride despite Dewey’s repeated pleas.
One need not rely on the testimony of Westinghouse for evidence of Armacost’s antipathy towards Dewey, which has continued even in the months following the incident after the magnitude of the changes to Dewey’s personality was evident. During Dewey’s testimony detailing a social media clip of the incident, Armacost claimed that such a clip could have been a deepfake and asked for Dewey to disrobe in the court to prove it was her. Appalled by this behavior, the judge found Armacost in contempt and sentenced him to 5 days in jail.
We find such an attitude to be incomprehensible, vile, cold, and callous. This very appeal appears to be an attempt by Armacost, who has continued to fail to show remorse, to avoid paying the full amount of the award.
Given the evidence before us that Armacost remains unrepentant of his actions, we believe that the jury did not take sufficient consideration of his character into determining the award as provided for by New Essex state Law (R.S. New Essex, c.67 §425). We thus raise it to two hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars (US$250,000), the maximum allowed for cases of this type by state law (R.S. New Essex, c.67 §455), and remand proceedings to the Circuit Court for actions not inconsistent with this ruling.
It is so ordered.