Livewire Could Sue for More Than Copyright Infringement

The Supergirl episode “We Can Be Heroes,” showed Livewire having a very bad week. She was kidnaped from prison, held against her will, and experimented on to create super-villain-soldiers. Livewire complained to her mad scientist tormentor that she could sue him for copyright infringement. Livewire should seek legal counsel, because she has more than one legal claim.

Livewire can sue the state of California for negligence, because she was kidnapped from her own cell due to a massive security breach. The State’s negligence allowed a henchmen to falsely impersonate a prison guard, assault a real guard, free one inmate, assault a prison psychiatrist, and kidnap Livewire.

The prison’s negligence allowed an imposter to enter the prison. Under California law, a “…public entity is liable for injury proximately caused by an act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment if the act or omission would, apart from this section, have given rise to a cause of action against that employee or his personal representative.” Cal. Gov’t Code § 815.2(a).

It was the failure of the prison security system that allowed an imposter to enter the compound. If the security lapse was not the fault of any specific individual, a general theory of negligence pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code § 1714 could provide Livewire a means of recovery against the state, because of the lack of ordinary care in maintaining a secure prison allowed her to be harmed. “But for” the prison being breached, Livewire would not have been kidnapped and tortured.

The aptly named “Bad Science Man” by Mon-EL is also subject to civil liability for his intentional torts on Livewire. First, “BSM” had a criminal conspiracy to kidnap Livewire, which is the act of forcibly taking another person to another location under Cal. Penal Code § 207. Second, BSM then violated Livewire’s personal liberty by physically restraining her on a chair in a warehouse, which would be false imprisonment under Cal. Penal Code § 236. Third, BSM’s experiments to drain Livewire of power were done with the intent to cause her pain and great bodily injury, thus meeting the legal definition of torture under Cal. Penal Code § 206. Livewire could sue “Bad Science Man” for these willful acts pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code § 1714.

The State is likely the “deep pocket” for suing, because “Bad Science Man” did not appear to be well-funded. Regardless, an attorney would need to conduct their due diligence before bring any claims on Livewire’s behalf for the best litigation strategy.