Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013 -

Delicate Negotiations

by Rue Chapman
Published: Jun 16, 2013
Words: 25,476
Category: general
Orientation: M/F
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Delicate Negotiations

Sometimes lawsuits can be settled out of court in more creative ways than the court system itself ever envisaged. There are cases when a monetary settlement just doesn't cover the damages.

After the news bulletins, newsreaders like to add a little personal comment as they sign off, to stamp their personality on the show. Of course these ad libs are always very carefully scripted. Josie liked to stamp her personality everywhere she could, she packed a great deal of ambition into her slender 5'8" frame. At 25 years of age, the attractive blonde was already one of the station's top newsreaders. She was also the despair of the legal department, as she often ignored the carefully checked words of wisdom scripted for her and substituted her own comments, blissfully unaware of the legal complications she could cause.

She became aware of these complications with a shock when she was sued by four irate businessmen who had featured in a trailer for a current affairs item to be featured on the station the next day about the exploitation of workers in local companies. Josie's parting comment after the trailer (for a report she had not bothered to preview) had made it clear they were the "... most blatant cases I have ever seen. Men like that should be banned from ever being in positions of power."

Unfortunately for Josie, the businessmen she mentioned were not only completely innocent, they featured in the item because they had set up an association to encourage better behaviour towards workers. Her careless comments damaged their businesses and the bad publicity cost them all several contracts. They also faced protests from women's groups, pickets outside their offices, strikes by employees, even the resignations of some employees who couldn't face working in such hostile environments, and the inconvenience of hiring and training more staff. The station had to use a great deal of valuable air time to clear their names.

Naturally, they sued. Not the station, which was litigation-proofed by those teams of lawyers, but Josie personally.

The station was not amused. Because the comments were unscripted Josie was liable, not the station, and she had very little defence. And the station's on-air efforts to clear up the mess had already cost it a lot of valuable time and credibility. Even with the help the station was prepared to give her she faced the horrible prospect of being found liable in court, bankruptcy, and the even worse spectre of more bad publicity, ruining her career.

Then, just as the case hit the headlines, there was a settlement offer. The businessmen involved knew that a long-drawn-out court case wouldn't do them or their companies any good, and they also knew that Josie didn't have nearly enough money to properly compensate them for their losses. They wanted a more satisfying revenge. More personal. As humiliating for the arrogant little newsreader as her words had been for them.

They wanted to spank her.

Josie was appalled, but her lawyer saw a number of interesting possibilities.