The introduction to a lawsuit filed by a businessman against ExxonMobil and one of its executives says it all:
"This case is about criminal and civic disobedience, but this litigation is also about fundamental issues of freedom, respect, dignity and economic and social equality and freedom. It is about acknowledgement, taking responsibility, and making restitution for wrongful conduct and it is about paying for tortuous, illegality and anti-social behavior."
According to Lindell Scottie Peterson, it all started with a business meeting gone wrong. Peterson claims he had arranged a luncheon appointment with an exec at the oil company to try to land an industrial services contract, but the executive never showed up. Peterson sat there waiting for two hours, yet the company man allegedly never called or apologized.
It was the second time this had happened, Peterson claims.
The next day, Peterson says, he emailed the executive, expressing his displeasure with having been stood up, twice. Peterson claims he was shocked at what he received back from the man.
The executive "wrote back not in apologetic terms," states the lawsuit, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service, "but seething anger using vulgarity and even threats of death worse than the cancer [Peterson] suffers with."
The executive is also accused of allegedly attempting to "blackball" Peterson and "banish" him and anyone associated with him permanently from ExxonMobil facilities.
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"The violent and death knell proclamations of violence by Defendants go beyond all manner of human decency," the lawsuit states. "Defendant's words threaten [Peterson] with horrendous and abhorrent violence ... Threatening someone with pain and suffering worse than cancer goes beyond all human decency ...."
Now might be a good time to point out the zest for language possessed by Peterson's attorney, Gilbert Adams. Sadly, he did not respond to a request for comment.
Peterson claims that he is a "very frail and fragile man" who cannot physically oppose the "terroristic threats" of the executive, and that he is "forced to be on guard and look over his shoulder, live in fear," and so forth.
Peterson is seeking damages for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.