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John Marshall Law School, Chicago
Polelle, Michael J.


Intentional Torts

I. Intent
a. Rule – —“In order that an act may be done with the intention of bringing about a harmful or offensive contact or an apprehension thereof to a particular person, either the other or a third person, the act must be done for the purpose of causing the contact or apprehension or with knowledge on the part of the actor that such contact or apprehension is substantially certain to be produced.”
i. Specific Intent – Knowing harm will result
ii. General Intent – Substantial certainty harm will result
iii. Recklessness – High-risk action, but not substantial certainty harm will result. More than negligence.
b. Transferred Intent – If D acts intending to cause an intentional tort to X, D will be liable if harm results to X, or even to P. This is true even though P is unexpected and the harm is unexpected. The 5 torts of Transferred intent are battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, and trespass to chattels.
c. Cases:
i. Garrett v. Daly – 5-year-old D pulled chair out from an old woman (D). Judgment was for D because the boys should have at least substantial certainty that harm would result. A minor is subject to suit as any other would be when committing an intentional tort.
ii. Spivey v. Battaglia – D and P were coworkers and while on lunch break, D put his arm around P and pulled her face towards his. P suffered a sharp pain in her neck and was paralyzed in her face. The judgment was for negligence because the line between negligence and intent is when the risk goes from being foreseeable (negligence) to substantial certainty (intent).
iii. Ranson v. Kitner – D, while hunting wolves, shot by mistake P’s dog, thinking it was a wolf. Judgment was for P, because a good faith mistake is not a defense to an intentional tort.
iv. McGuire v Almy – D was an insane person who struck P with a table leg after D threatened to kill anyone who entered the room. The judgment was for the P because an insane person can have the requisite for intent. An insane person is held liable as a matter of public policy. There is an exception when it comes to torts such as deceit, where D would have to have actual knowledge of actions.
v. Talmage v. Smith – D threw a stick of wood at two boys playing on the roof of his woodshed. The stick hit a third boy, which caused him to lose his eyesight. The doctrine of transf

s not battery.
ii. Wallace v. Rosen – P was on a flight of stairs during a fire drill. D touched P on the shoulder and was not aware P had just had foot surgery. P fell down the stairs. Judgment was for D because the time, place, and the circumstances under which the act was done will affect its un-permitted character.
iii. Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc. – P was standing in a line at a buffet when D came over and forcefully grabbed the plate that was in P’s hand. Judgment was for the P because contact with clothing or an object touching a plaintiff is sufficient to provide the contact necessary for a battery. A persons interest in bodily integrity includes things connected or in contact with this person.
III. Assault
a. Rule – An assault is an act, other than the mere speaking of words, that directly is a legal cause of placing the P in fear or apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact without consent or privilege.