Select Page

Torts
St. Thomas University, Florida School of Law
Makdisi, John Mary

♠♠♠♠♠TORTS♠♠♠♠
Definition of Tort:
Recover.
A civil wrong (damages to person or property) for which one can
Purpose:
Tort based liability
Brown v. Kendall
If beating the dog were only proper and permissible, the Δ was liable unless he used extraordinary care.
Cohen v. Petty
A person who befalls sudden illness is not liable for not showing unreasonable risk
I. INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH PERSON OR PROPERTY
INTENT
General definition:
a. Objective, motivation and desire
b. Knowledge with substantial certainty
Ransom v. Kittner
Garrat v. Dailey
§
§
Child defendant manifesting intent needs knowledge w/ sub. certainty and must understand the concept of contact.
§
Dailey knew w/ sub. certainty that Garrat was going to fall. One does not only have to act w/ purpose but must also know w/ sub. certainty the harm will occur to have the required intent for an intentional tort.
Mistake does not negate intent
Ranson v. Kitner:
Insanity
McGuire v. Almy:
Transferred Intent
Talmage v. Smith
Man threw a stick at one boy and it hit another. His intent was transferred to the second victim.
Talmage acted with purpose and he knew what he was doing was wrong.
Use the state of mind towards the non-victim to the victim to provide intent. Victim→Victim. Tort→ Tort.
The damages for which intent can be transferred must fall within the following five categories: battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land and trespass to chattels.
an insane person is capable of entertaining intent and must have entertained it in fact to be liable. However, an insane person does not have the needed intent when they act w/out believing a certain result will not occur. It is not clear how to find intent but it should not defray from Public Policy. Mistake does not negate the elements of intent. Even though the party did not know it was a dog, they still had the intent to shoot.Brian Dailey (5yrs old) pulled a chair from Ruth Garrat causing her to fall and fracture her hip. Sued for battery
§
§
§
The party desired or had the purpose to kill the dogEven though the party shot the dog in good faith they knew the objective to shoot the gun was to killA dog was shot and killed by several men (in good faith) who believed the dog was a wolf.
BATTERY
Intent to cause harmful or offensive bodily contact.
Intent:
Motive, objective, desire
Knowledge w/ sub. certainty
Harmful or
Offensive
Contact
(to the person or anything intimately connected to the person)(hurting personal dignity of the integrity of a person)(anything that results in harm)
Privileges:
Consent
Self-Defense
Defense of Property
Recovery of Property
Discipline
Justification
Fisher. Carrousel Motor House, Inc.
§
§
Direct contact is not necessary for battery. Knocking or snatching anything from П’s hand or touching anything connected w/ his person if done in an offensive manner is sufficient.
What is considered as part of the body?
Pen, cigarette, hat, coat- yes
Kite on a string, leash on seeing eye dog- maybe (contact is the arguable element)
Kicking a building, leash on dog – no
ASSAULT
Intent to cause the fear/apprehension of harmful or offensive contact.
*The victim has to have the fear/apprehension that the bodily contact was going to occur.
Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Hill
Employee made comments to Mrs. Hill about fixing her clock and tried to put his hands on her.
A person has to have a fear or apprehension of harmful or offensive contact coupled with the ability to do it.
Fear:
Key element of an assault is the apprehension and the fear you will be struck.
Fear of contact and fear of end result of the contact.
Imminent:
Fear must be within a reasonable range in the victim’s understanding
Words alone/Threats:
Words alone are not enough for an assault, there has to be some action consistent with the words to constitute an assault.
**
Privileges
Self Defense
Discipline

FALSE IMPRISONMENT
The intentional restraint of a person w/out adequate legal justification
Elements for false imprisonment
Big Town Nursing Home, INC. v. Newman
Parvi v. City of Kingston
Hardy v. LaBelle’s

distress must be severe.
JustificationThere is no threshold for damagesDisciplineAuthority of law (arrest) NecessityDefense of othersSelf-defenseConsent was abandoning religious sect and was refused by the D a boat to get on shore.
Intentional restraint w/out justification
Victim has to be conscious of the confinement
Or injury of the confinement
There is no reasonable escape
§
§
§
§
§
The plaintiff needed to be aware or recollect the confinement to have been falsely imprisoned. Awareness of confinementP was taken by the police to an abandoned golf course, where he wandered and was struck by a car.False imprisonment is the direct restraint of one person of the physical liberty of another without adequate justificationHe was told he would not be forced to remain in the nursing home against his will. The state of mind to keep him and the manifestation of the act by keeping him. P admitted by nephew to nursing home, decided not to remain, and was confined by restraints and being locked up in insane wing. Conditional threats are inadequate to prove assault.П, while standing in line at a buffet luncheon was approached by an employee who snatched the plate from his hand and screamed derogatory words.(to commit a voluntary act) (unreasonable risk) (unreasonable risk)
§
Intent
§
Unreasonable behavior (unnecessary risk)
§
Strict liability (dangerous activity /subject others to risk)
So that people would not take the law into their own hands and find a peaceful means.
To deter wrongful conduct
To encourage socially responsible behavior.
To restore injured parties to their original condition (compensating them for injury)