Legal Theory

Bomb Image in Business Fax a Bad Idea

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Among the new causes of action and subjects of potential claims constantly developing in the ever-changing American legal arena, add one to the list that some might consider a no-brainer – faxing an image of a bomb in an internal business communication.

A faulty fax containing such an image, from an in-house Bank of America marketing department to a suburban Boston branch, led to the evacuation of an entire strip shopping mall for several hours yesterday, reports the Boston Globe.

Other bank branches in the Northeast also were evacutated in response to the fax, which omitted text alerting employees to an upcoming Small Business Commitment Week and the words “The Countdown Begins” above the bomb image, according to Ernesto Anguilla, a bank spokesman. The response at the Boston branch was heightened, because of a suspicious package received around the same time the fax was transmitted.

Businesses in the strip mall were unhappy about the expensive disruption, and the owner of a veterinary hospital said it was fortunate that no animal was undergoing surgery at the time of the evacuation. Local authorities reportedly may ask the bank to pay for the cost of the emergency workers who responded to the report of the apparent bomb threat.

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