I. MAIN FEATURES:
Purpose of tort law:
1. Peaceful means for settling disputes
2. Deter wrongful conduct
3. Encourage socially responsible behavior
4. Restore injured parties to original condition (through $)
Tort: a private or civil wrong or injury resulting from a breach of
a legal duty that exists by virtue of societys expectations regarding interpersonal conduct, rather than by contract or other private relationship. The essential elements of a tort are the existence of a legal duty owed by a defendant to a plaintiff, breach of that duty, and a causal relation between defendants conduct and the resulting damage to the plaintiff. The groups of torts:
1. intentional tort desire & knowledge to do harm
2. negligence likelihood liable if at fault did not act reasonably
3. strict liability liable even if acted reasonably
Difference between intentional tort and negligence whereas the
intentional tortfeasor generally desires to create a certain
objectionable result, or at least knows with substantial certainty that
such a result will occur, the negligent tortfeasor has no such desire, and
may have in fact desperately wished to avoid the harmful result which
The essence of the negligent tortfeasors act is that his conduct (w/o
regard to his mind) imposed an unreasonable risk upon others
Negligence compared to strict liability under strict liability an actor
who engages in an “ultrahazardous” activity is responsible for all injuries
that he proximately causes even if these occur without negligence.
Under strict liability regime, defendant does have an incentive to weigh
the social utility from engaging in the activity at all, not just an
incentive to behave carefully one having decided to do the activity.
The SL theory is preoccupied making D bear losses inflicted on others; the negligence theory w/ imposing liability only when needed to alter basic behavior
Shifting of the Burden interest in imposing costs of accidents on those that can afford them.
where financial hardship must fall on someone, courts generally attempt to place on party who can best bear it not dispositive
ANALYZING TORT PROBLEMS
Scope of liability if D conduct produces far-reaching, unexpected consequences,will he be liable for these consequences? The more culpable (blameworthy, guilty) his conduct, the more far-reaching his liability for unexpected consequences.
PART 1: PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HARMS
Chapter 1 Intentionally Inflicted Harm: The Prima Facia Case and Defenses
A. Intentional tort: In tort law, intent refers to the desire to cause the
consequences of ones act or the belief that the consequences are
substantially certain to result from it. Restatement (Second) Torts 8A
act by defendant volitional movement on defendant part
Intent do not need to intend the specific injury; the intent must be at least to bring about some sort of physical or mental effect on another person, or be substantially certain of consequences, but does not need to include a desire to “harm” that person.
a. specific goal of act is to bring about these consequences
b. general knows with substantial certainty consequences will result
c. doctrine of transfer
liable an action of negligence
Talmage v Smith (boys on sheds and owner throws stick)
Transfer of intent trying to hit A you hit B, still liable
Physical Harms Battery and Consent
Battery (P will argue broad definition and D will argue narrow)
Intentional infliction of a harmful or offensive bodily contact
a. act by defendant which brings about harmful or offensive contact to the plaintiffs person (anything connected) objective standard
-a battery may be committed not only by contact with plaintiffs body
but also by a contact with anything so closely identified with body that
contact with it is as offensive as contact with the body would be.
-indirect contact it is not necessary that the defendant touches the
plaintiff with his own body. It is sufficient if he causes the contact
indirectly (i.e. attack dog)
-awareness it is not necessary that the plaintiff have actual
awareness of the contact at the time it occurs.
b. Battery has four components:
b. intent on the part of defendant to bring about harmful or offensive contact to plaintiffs person, not intent of injury. Motive is irrelevant.
-this requirement doesnt necessarily require that D intend the harmful