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Torts
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Koehler, Michael

Prof Koehler Fall 2012 TORTS
1.       Intentional Torts
a.       Types of Intentional Torts
                                                               i.      Battery
1.       Elements of Battery
a.       Act – contact to body or object immediately surrounding body
                                                                                                                                       i.      Harm or offense
b.      Intent – knowledge with substantial certainty that harm or offense will occur
                                                                                                                                       i.      Intent can be transferred in two ways:
1.       Intended target can be transferred
2.       Intent can transfer to other intentional torts
a.       Assault
b.      Battery
c.       Trespass to Chattels
d.      Trespass to land
e.      False Imprisonment
c.       Injury/Damage – Harm or offense
                                                                                                                                       i.      Reasonable person standard (objective test generally, but may be looked at subjectively)
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Timing of when harmful contact is realized by victim does not need to be immediate (Brzoska)
                                                             ii.      Assault
1.       Elements of Assault
a.       Act –  Person is put in imminent apprehension of harmful or offensive contact
                                                                                                                                       i.      To person or to third person
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Words alone not enough, must be overt act
b.      Intent – Knowledge with substantial certainty that apprehension would occur
                                                                                                                                       i.      Intent can be transferred in same way as battery
c.       Injury/Damage – Imminent apprehension of harmful or offensive contact
                                                                                                                                       i.      Not necessary to be afraid, only to be aware of threat while it is happening
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Harm may not be painful, can be unwanted, offensive, or harmful
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Conditional threat is sufficient, so long as there is overt action
                                                                                                                                   iv.      Future threat is not sufficient
                                                            iii.      False Imprisonment
1.       Elements of False Imprisonment
a.       Act – Willful detention of another
b.      Intent – Intent to detain
c.       Injury/Damage – Confinement (physical or mental)
2.       Defenses to False Imprisonment:
a.       Consent
b.      Legal Authority
                                                                                                                                       i.      Shopkeeper’s privilege: reasonable grounds to believe a theft has occured
                                                           iv.      Trespass to Land – not covered
                                                             v.      Trespass to Chattels/Conversion
1.       Elements of Trespass to Chattels/Conversion
a.       Act – Exercise of dominion or control over a chattel
b.      Intent – assertion of a right inconsistent with another’s right of control
c.       Harm – Serious interference with the right of another to control their chattel/ Harm to chattel/ Inconvenience to owner
                                                                                                                                       i.      Trespass to Chattels if harm/interference is minor
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Conversion  if harm/interference is serious
2.       Factors consider ed in determining Trespass or Conversion:
a.       Extent and duration of dominion or control
b.      Intent to assert that right against owner
c.       Actor’s good faith
d.      Extent and duration of actual interference
e.      Harm done
f.        Inconvenience to owner
3.       Remedies
a.       Trespass to Chattels
                                                                                                                                       i.      Recovery of damages caused by harm/ interference
b.      Conversion
                                                                                                                                       i.      Recovery of damages, or
                                                                                                   

Knight v. Jewett)
2.       if there is deceit involved in gaining consent (DeMay v. Roberts)
a.       or in cases of fraud
3.       if there is duress involved in obtaining consent
4.       if the consentor lacks the capacity to consent
a.       incompetent
b.      minor
                                                                                                                                       i.      Some minority positions allow for minors to give consent in some situations
                                                            iii.      Does apply
1.       in cases where doctors perform less-invasive procedures on same part of body as consent was originally applied (Christman v. Davis)
b.      Informed consent (C.o.A. stands in negligence)
                                                               i.      Reasonable patient test (common law)
1.       Physician failed to inform adequately of material risk before securing consent;
2.       If patient had been informed of risks he would not have consented
a.       Majority view – RPS; would reasonable patient have consented?
b.      Minority view – individual patient standard; would patient have consented?
3.       Material risk not made known actually occurred as a result of D’s treatment
                                                             ii.      Reasonable doctor test (statutory)
1.       Lack of informed consent means the failure of doctor providing treatment or diagnosis to disclose to patient such alternatives or foreseeable risks involved as a reasonable practitioner under similar circumstances would have disclosed, in a manner permitting the patient to make a knowledgeable evaluation
2.       Right of action to recover for malpractice based on a lack of informed consent is limited to cases involving non-emergency treatment or a diagnostic procedure involving invasion or disruption of the integrity of the body
3.       For a cause of action it must be established that a reasonable person in patient’s position would not have undergone the treatment or diagnosis if he had been fully informed and lack of informed consent is a proximate cause of injury or harm