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Torts
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Latin, Howard A.

Torts Outline
Strict Liability:

No intent or negligence needs to be shown, just proximate cause and damages.
Most often applied to ultrahazardous activities such as blasting, keeping wild animals, etc, that require the utmost care

Intentional Tort Liability:
General elements of an intentional tort:
1. Act
2. Intent to Commit Act
3. Damages
4. Causation
The intent of an intentional tort is the desire of the consequences, or the knowledge that the consequence is substantially certain to occur
Battery:

Elements of Battery:

1. Touching
2. Without consent
3. Intend to touch
Transferred Intent:
· Intent for one intentional tort is sufficient intent for another.
· Ex: Intent for assault can be used for intent of battery if actual touching results
· Ex2: Intent to commit battery against one person is transferred if they actually hit another “unintended person”
Assault:

Elements of Assault:

Create imminent apprehension of harm or touch
Without consent
Intend apprehension

Offensive Battery:

Elements of Offensive Battery:

Invasion of person, protection, or integrity
Without consent
Intent of act

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress:

Prima Facie Elements:

Intent
No consent
Experience emotional distress
Behavior must be shocking to the social conscience or general public

Intentional Infliction of Damage to Property:

Prima Facie Elements:

Damaged property
Intent
No consent

Trespass:

Prima Facie Elements:

Entered land or property
No consent
Intent to enter land (even if you thought it was yours!)

Conversion and Trespass to Chattels:

Prima Facie Elements:

Take property
No consent
Intend to take (even if you thought it was yours!)

Defenses:
Defenses to Intentional Torts:

General defenses are claiming an element of prima facie case is missing

Ex: “I didn’t intend to do it”

Affirmative defenses do not attack a prima facie element, but are legal excuses

Consent:

Implied consent: doctor can administer first aid if there is a medical emergency
Substituted consent: sometimes consent of guardian overturns doctor’s judgment for minors and incompetents; other times court interprets what it thinks the incompetent “would have” consented to if he had been able
Laws can also prevent people from giving consent in order to protect them

Ex: Illegal boxing match

Self-Defense, Defense of Property, Defense of Chattels

Reasonable force (in light of

imposes duty for protection of benefits of others?
2. Is this duty required by this particular person?
3. Was the statute intended to protect this class of people?
4. Injuries that statute intended to protect against?
5. Failure to meet statute standard caused harm?
Cause-in-Fact:
· Was defendant’s act a substantial contributing cause of damages?
Proof of Causation and Burden-Shifting:
· Π’s harm “caused” by actions is the difference between what Π has as a result of Δ’s culpable behavior and what Π would have otherwise had if no culpable behavior by Δ
· Only need to show that harm was more likely than not caused by culpable behavior
· If damages are not divisible, burden is shifted to defendants to show who is responsible for what
· Dealing with uncertainties in causation:
1. Name all defendants and show that more likely than not plaintiff was harmed by culpable behavior (join together because they are all culpable)
2. If uncertainty was caused by defendant’s actions and this uncertainty was foreseeable, then burden shifts to defendant