Man Sues Woman for Texting During Movie

John Lister's picture

A Texas man is suing a woman he dated for text messaging while the pair were watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Brandon Vezmar filed in small claims court seeking $17.31, the cost of his ticket for a 3D showing.

According to the filing, reported in the Austin American-Statesman, the pair were on a first date after meeting online. Vezmar claims the woman "activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages." (Source: newsweek.com)

Texter Labeled Threat to Society

He argues that this violated the theater's policy and spoiled the experience for both he and other audience members. He said that "While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant's behavior is a threat to civilized society."

Vezmar also claims that the woman had driven the pair to the date, but left him behind afterwards. He says he later texted her to request she refund his ticket but she refused.

Speaking under requested anonymity, the woman told the newspaper that she had only used the phone a couple of times. Until contacted by the newspaper she was unaware of the filing and responded "This is crazy... I'm not a bad woman. I just went out on a date." (Source: statesman.com)

AMC Drops "Texting-friendly" Screenings

While this lawsuit may be a bit over the top, it seems moviegoers as a whole do not appreciate phone use in theaters. Last year the newly-appointed head of AMC suggested that theaters could have "texting friendly" screenings. The vigorous public response led to him withdrawing the idea just a couple of days later.

Back in 2015, Microsoft patented a technology that would let phone owners choose to have their handset automatically switch to a special movie mode when their GPS showed they were at a theatre, or even if a WiFi scan showed networks mentioning the name of a movie chain.

The movie mode would include switching to silent, turning off notifications, dimming the display and showing the time in larger digits for quicker checking. However, Microsoft hasn't yet used the technology.

What's Your Opinion?

Was the man right to get upset about his date texting during the movie? Is the lawsuit an appropriate response? Would you like to have a 'movie mode' on your phone that could switch on automatically?

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Comments

Dennis Faas's picture

I remember in 2001 I was dating a girl who was constantly texting while we were watching a movie at her place. Not long after that, she received a phone call from "a friend" and talked with her "friend" for a good 20 minutes - all while I'm sitting beside her.

To say that I felt second-class would probably sum things up nicely because I suspected her "friend" was most likely another guy. With that said, I completely understand how Brandon Vezmar in this article feels.

If you are on a date, don't text with other people constantly - it's annoying and selfish. And for goodness sake, don't do it while in a theater because it's not only disrespectful to your date but also to the people in the theater. Honestly, some people are idiots!

As for the idea of suing your date over a movie ticket ... that is certainly a bit over the top, but the guy has a point and I hope his date gets embarrassed by all the media attention.

gsteele531_6987's picture

He should have asked her for the keys to the car on the grounds that he left something behind, driven the car back home, then texted her that he changed his mind about having a date - just as she had done . . .

There's a point at which society breaks down - when people no longer relate to others in their presence. That point has been reached - rude texting, crashing into poles while walking and reading, parking at green lights while people behind you sit fuming over you not paying attention to traffic controls, crashes because of distracted driving, etc. Clearly, responsibility has not caught up with technology, nor has education. That, unfortunately, leaves laws as the mechanism to prevent irresponsible damage to others.

So we will be stuck with yet more rules to control our lives, because it is no longer allowed to confront people with reality - we have to use socialspeak even to communicate simple thoughts, which rules out identifying boorish behavior face-to-face lest the snowflakes melt.

How does society work when virtually every communication is deemed antisocial?

n7mpj's picture

I don't even like it when I'm at home. I don't like to listen to others' conversations in the first place. My own sister-in-law is an abuser.

She has to stand behind me and make her phone call while I'm at the computer trying to read my email or if I'm trying to make a comment like I'm doing here. I don't even like people chewing and trying to talk to me at the same time.

Sorry it's just annoying. If you want to eat or talk on the phone go sit down and leave me alone. I have another sister-in-law that's a phone zombie. Those that their whole life is on the cell phone.

So you see I agree with the Plaintiff in this case.

omeomi.janice_6982's picture

While very annoying, is he really going to take up the court's time for this. Don't go out with her anymore. She's rude.

Americas are far too litigious.

sirpaultoo's picture

He's an idiot! He should have gotten up and asked the theater for his money back for not enforcing the 'bothersome moviegoer rule'.
If they kicked his date out, he could argue that she was his ride - 'so give me my money back'.
If they refused, I'm sure he could have found one of those contingency lawyers to sue for a lot more money - and big companies usually settle for more than $17.31.

kitekrazy's picture

The above post is a bit over the top. It's not easy to get your money back either way.

The reality is cell phones have created plenty of incivility and a lot of ignorance.

sirpaultoo's picture

I was an assistant manager in an AMC movie theater for a couple of years. We actually had a budget for that. Store policy was to offer refunds to try and diffuse a situation when we thought a viewer was going to cause a scene (pun intended). Although I didn't keep exact track, I know that I personally refunded over a couple of dozen in the two years I was in management. Most of them were for viewers who were bothered by by other viewers (usually small children).