Can a business be sued for not allowing someone to make a personal call?

I am a manager at a store that does not
allow customers to use the store’s land
lines to make calls. A person demanded
I let them use our phone to make an
emergency call to someone. I told him I
would call an ambulance for him if he
needed it but he refused on the grounds
that he didn’t want to pay for it. I
told him he could not use our phone to
make a personal call but I would call
emergency services for him. He then
threatened a lawsuit if I didn’t let
him make his call. I let him make the
call, he never mentioned a hospital or
any sort of medical issue during the
call. Would he have had a case if I
refused the call? This happened in
Colorado.

Asked on August 22, 2016 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, he would not have had any case whatsoever. There is no legal obligation for *anyone*--business or private citizen--to let anyone else use their phone for any purpose, even for emergency phone calls. While you of course can choose to let them use the phone, you do not have to, and may safely say "no."


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