Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Super Sisters, Inc

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Super Sisters, Inc

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case sequence is the integration of statistics and business law. Secondary issues examined include the use and meaning of descriptive statistics, regression analysis, statistical index numbers, the legal responsibilities for detaining a customer in a store, the liability of a merchant for compensatory damages arising out of the commission of a tort, and related strategic management issues. The case has a difficulty level of three, appropriate for junior level. The case is designed to be taught in three class hours. That time estimate includes a formal class presentation by a team and a challenge by another student team. It is expected to require ten to fifteen hours of outside preparation by students for the case.


After observing a customer engage in suspicious conduct, the Loss Prevention Manager of a store detains the shopper after grasping her by the arm and shoving her back to the store. Apparently, the shopper lost her balance and fell on her back sustaining significant physical damage. The shopper was then escorted to the loss prevention room where she was asked to wait for the store manager, who showed up more than an hour later. Following some questioning in the loss prevention room, the shopper was allowed to leave after it was determined that she did not engage in shoplifting. Due to the significant injuries the shopper sustained she was permanently unable to resume her work as a successful sales person for a pharmaceutical company. She is now suing the store for lost future income under the legal claim of false imprisonment.

The statistics portion of the case requires students to use Excel to compute descriptive statistics, perform regression analysis, and project future income. Students are also required to carefully define the statistical terms they are using and explain the meaning of their results In the legal portion of the case, students are referenced to legal opinions and asked to evaluate whether the shopper is likely to be able to recover under the claim of false imprisonment. The students are then expected to utilize their previous statistical analysis to conclude whether, and if so how much, the court is likely to award the shopper for lost future income. Students also need to determine if the shopper is likely to recover compensatory damages for injury and a punitive award. Finally, the student is asked to recommend strategic management policies that would serve to avoid reoccurrences of the problem.

This case requires students to apply materials learned in most Business School's lower division core (LDC). It is used in a course at the beginning of the junior year that has goals to integrate LDC material while developing teamwork and communication skills. Specifically, the case requires knowledge of elementary statistics and a beginning business law course. Student teams prepare the case with tutoring from faculty who provide "just-in-time" specific knowledge as requested by student teams. A team of students formally presents their case solution, another team acts as a "challenge team" and the whole class participates in an active question and answer session.


Recommendations for Teaching Approaches

This case is designed for a junior level business course that integrates core material. The primary subject matter includes concepts from business law and statistics. Secondary issues include the meaning and use of descriptive statistics, regression analysis, price indices, inflation, present value, merchants' law for false imprisonment, and personal injury claims. It is assumed the student will have had a previous lower division course in statistics and business law. The completion of a previous introductory course in accounting and economics is recommended.

It is recommended that approximately 3 class hours be devoted to this case. This time includes a class of about 1. …

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