Man Sues 1-800-Flowers Over Unfortunate Thank-You Note

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Leroy Greer sued 1-800-Flowers last week in federal court, alleging that the company’s breach of its privacy policy has caused him $1 million in damages.  Mr. Greer contacted the company in order to send a beautiful bouquet of roses along with a wonderful note:


All was well until 1-800-Flowers followed up later with a thank-you note.  Which it sent to their house.  Where his wife lived.  Who had not received any roses.  When she called with questions, the company helpfully faxed her a copy of the receipt that confirmed the purchase and the touching note that she also had not received.

This gave her an excellent reason to increase what she was asking for as part of their divorce settlement, which was apparently being negotiated at the time.  Mr. Greer’s complaint admits the two were in the midst of a divorce, although his attorney described it as "amicable."  That’s because he’s now measuring the damages in part by the difference between the amount of the proposed amicable-divorce settlement and the significantly higher post-affair-disclosure-reduced-amicability settlement amount, which Greer is arguing he would not have had to pay if the company had helped him keep his adultery a secret.  (He looks slightly better in light of the fact that he and his wife had been separated for quite a while, but under Texas law it’s still adultery until the divorce is final.  Maybe everywhere else, too, now that I think about it.)

"That thank-you note is going to cost him money," said Greer’s attorney, Kennitra Foote.  And it will — the report said that Mrs. Greer asked for an additional $300,000 after learning about the affair — but there is probably going to be some discussion of whether it was the thank-you note or the I-love-you note that really caused the harm.

Greer says that he asked to keep his order private, and was referred to the company’s privacy policy, which says customers can ask it not to share information with third parties.  He alleges that it violated this policy when it sent his wife the receipt.  But the company appears to be arguing, in part, that the wife was not legally a "third party" in this situation, since she was entitled to information about the couple’s financial matters, or alternatively that she had "apparent authority" to act as his agent.  It is also possible that any privacy agreement Mr. Greer and the company might have had about this would be unenforceable because of what the parties to it were trying to keep private.

"This is not a moral issue," said Foote, the attorney for the party accused of immorality.  "The issue is, is 1-800-Flowers in the business of causing divorce or are they in the business of sending flowers and sticking to their privacy policy?"  Um, the second one?  Meanwhile, a spokesperson for 1-800-Flowers said that the company’s policy was not to comment on pending litigation.  He then immediately violated that policy by stating, "We are not responsible for an individual’s personal conduct."

Helpfully attached as an exhibit to Greer’s complaint is a copy of the fax that his wife received, on which she wrote a note of her own, this one to Mr. Greer:  "Be a man!  If you got caught red handed then don’t still lie."  I guess that is some evidence that the fax was responsible for him getting caught, but on the other hand, it is also some evidence that he is not a man.

Link: ABC News
Link: On Point Legal News (with link to full complaint)