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Court Revives Employee’s|Waterboarding Claim

(CN) - An employee can sue his boss for allegedly waterboarding him during a team-building exercise, the Utah Supreme Court ruled.

Chad Hudgens sued Prosper Inc. and his supervisor, Joshua Christopherson, alleging assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination.

According to Hudgens, he volunteered for a training exercise to show his loyalty and determination, without knowing the nature of the exercise.

He claimed that Christopherson led his team to the top of a hill and ordered him to lie down. Christopherson then poured water over Hudgens' face for a full minute while other employees held him down, Hudgens said.

But that wasn't the only unusual tactic Christopherson used, according to the lawsuit. Hudgens said Christopherson also smacked employees' desks with a wooden paddle and drew mustaches on their faces with permanent marker.

Hudgens said he quit his job after suffering nausea, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression related to the waterboarding incident.

The state high court said the lower court erred when it dismissed the case and denied Hudgens' request to amend it.

"The district court abused its discretion when it denied Mr. Hudgens' leave to amend because the district court's order denying leave to amend failed to provide adequate reasons for the denial," Justice Matthew Durrant wrote.

The Supreme Court revived the case and remanded.

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