BUG, Inc., a company based in the United States., designs, manufactures, and sells electronic recording devices. These devices are used by law enforcement agencies to intercept and record sounds and voices. The equipment taps into telephone wires, cell phone transmissions, and picks up sounds and voices through the walls of a house or in open-air locations through the use of a remote microphone. Part of the equipment is driven by software written by BUG employees. BUG has exclusive contracts with most state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. BUG is thinking about expanding its sales to international markets. Currently, half of its manufacturing plants are in foreign countries and half are in the U.S. The company’s logo is a ladybug wearing a set of headphones.
Shady Town, U.S.A. has been plagued with a recent crime wave. The BUG plant in Shady Town has experienced vandalized vehicles in its parking lot and some second shift employees have been robbed as they walked to their cars at night. BUG receives shipments of parts and other items from vendors at its receiving/shipping dock located at the rear of each plant. The parking lot and dock areas are well lit; however, some lights are now out. While waiting for the dock manager to return from lunch, a vendor was attacked and robbed of his wallet and the electronic chips he was delivering. Discuss any tort liability BUG may have to the vendor and to the BUG employees that were attacked and BUG’s potential defenses. Explain your answer.