Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications, Inc., 634 N.E.2d 697 (1994)
FACTS: WLW Bill Cunningham invited antismoking advocate, Ahron Leichtman (Plaintiff), on its radio show to discuss the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. Plaintiff claims that Furman (Defendant), a talk-show host, repeatedly blew cigar smoke in his face. He further claims Defendant intended to humiliate him and, cause him distress and discomfort.
ISSUE: Whether the intentional act of blowing tobacco smoke in a person’s face is battery.
RULE: Pursuant to Restatement of the Law 2d, Torts (1965), a person commits battery if they intend to make contact with another person in an offensive or harmful manner. The result of the offensive or harmful contact can be either direct or indirect.
ANALYSIS: On Plaintiff’s battery claim, the Court espoused the Supreme Court’s rule that any contact that offends an individual’s sense of dignity is an offensive contact. Because Defendant deliberately blew smoke in Leichtman’s face, the Court did not address the “substantial certainty” point of intent. In all, the Court decided defendants were not entitled to judgment under Civ. R. 12(B)(6).
CONCLUSION: When Defendant blew cigar smoke, with the intention that it would make contact with Plaintiff’s face, he committed a battery. Reversed and remanded on the battery claim.