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Torts
Temple University School of Law
Rahdert, Mark C.

 
 
 
CREATE A CHECKLIST FOR EVALUATING HYPOS
I. INTRO
FUNDAMENTALS OF TORT LAW:
Definition- any (usually) compensable civil action outside K
POLICY FUNCTION
Shifts cost
Compensates injured party
Dispute resolution
Social deterrent from undesirable conduct
ORIGINS OF TORT LAW
Mostly state law
Judge made, common law (CL)
Legislature codifies CL after established “Black-letter law” (BLL)
 
3 STANDARDS OF LIABILITY
INTENTIONAL- Brown v. Kendal-P must prove D’s lack of due care in lawful action for recovery. *Accidents do not necessarily imply culpability
 
NEGLIGENT-Hammontree- negligence, not strict liability applies to car accidents
 
STRICT LIABILITY- Langan v. Valicopters- Agent participating in dangerous activities subject to liability no matter how careful. Strict liability is limited to risk inherent in dangerous activity
RST § 519
(2) ABNORMALLY DANGEROUS
Test for “abnormally dangerous”
Minimize harm [through caution]?
Gravity of harm
Risky?
Location
Usage common
Value to community
 
Caution can eliminate harm?
Common usage of activity
Gravity of harm
High degree of risk
Place of activity
Value to community
 
 
II. INTENTIONAL TORTS- (A,B,C,F,I= assault, battery, conversion, false imprisonment, IIED)
INTENT- desire to invade legal rights; substantial knowledge that it will invade
Respondeat superior does not apply in intentional torts cases because all intentional torts fall outside scope of employment[LMS1] 
Thin Skull Rule- actor is responsible for all indirect (CAUSE-IN-FACT) consequences resultant from his intentional action; no proximate cause 
Damages- as long as all elements of tort are satisfied punitive damages can be awarded
Physical injury does not have to be proven for P to win
 
BATTERY AND ASSAULT
ELEMENTS OF BATTERY (RST § 13)
(1) INTENTIONAL ACT (Subjective) that
“Crowded world”- Wallace v. Rosen, p.19- teacher contacts P in fire drill, P implicitly consents to contact  
“Intent” = knowledge or substantial certainty that risk will result- Garrat v. Dailey, p.16- infant pulls chair
Transferred intent- vicarious liability Keel v. Hainline, p.28- D throws eraser hits wrong kid
Intent only must be to create contact, not do harm Lambertson v. US, p.35- meathooks
(2) LEGAL CAUSE
Thin Skull Rule- even indirect results, “take P as you find him”, Vosburg v. Putney, p.24- infant intentionally kicks P in school
(3) HARMFUL (objective- what would a reasonable person think is harmful?)
(3.5) OR OFFENSIVE CONTACT that is:
Unprivileged- Mink v. U of CHI, p.29- U administers drugs to pregnant moms without their consent- pills constitute battery
Unconsented-to-
(4) TO V’S PERSON (constituted by anything within close proximity)
No physical contact is necessary it need only be intended, Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, p.35- D grabs plate, shouts racial slurs
ELEMENTS OF ASSAULT- protect interest the interest in not apprehending an unwanted touching
(1) CREATING APPREHENSION OF FEAR OF (BATTERY)-
must be recognized subjectively by V
words alone cannot constitute assault, Conley v. Doe, p.39- teacher finds “kill list”
Reasonable person must perceive threat of battery, Bouton v. All-State- camera flash causing D to kill trick-or-treaters not a reasonable threat of battery
 
FALSE IMPRISONMENT RST § 35
(1)   INTENTIONAL ACT
(2)    TO CONFINE OR DOES CONFINE V. 
(3)   V MUST ASCERTAIN HIS/HER CONFINEMENT SUBJECTIVELY
Confinement need not necessarily be structural. Whittaker v. Sandford, p.41 cult leader confines convert on boat in middle of water by exercising influence
The threat of physical restraint satisfies FI, Dupler v. Seubert, p.45- bosses threaten to “let go”employee
 
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS-
RST 2d § 46-
(1)   EXTREME AND OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT

RST § 36- Car can constitute confinement
Intent to confine demonstrated by exercise of will over another, Noguchi v. Nakamura, p.109- gf agrees to short ride w/ bf she just dumped. In not allowing her egress he falsely imprisoned her
Consent can EXPIRE, Noguchi supra Consent is not a defense when it has expired.
If means of escape that does present physical danger, the confinement is not complete, not equal FI, Peterson v. Sorlien, p.109- P had opportunities to leave but did not seize them
Consent can be implied by conduct, Peterson supra- P remained after regaining      ability to leave
Shopkeeper’s privilege- Storeowner may demand customer open purse Bonkowski v. Arlan’s Dept. Store- security made woman open purse; policy allows storeowner’s right to prevent theft to trump customers’ liberty
 
C) PRIVATE NECESSITY-
Entry upon land justified by necessity, Ploof v. Putnam, 121- P mooring sloop to D’s dock during storm to save family is privileged by necessity to save lives
When necessity justifies use of another’s property, party benefiting must compensate other for any damages caused by usage, Vincent v. Lake Erie Transport., p.122- in docking at P’s dock during storm, D caused damages
Boat owner CCA
 
D) PUBLIC NECESSITY
·         D appropriates or injures a private property interest to protect the community.  A complete defense, Surocco v. Geary, p.125- fire department destroyed a home to prevent communication of a fire         
 [LMS1]Commericial outline says exact oposite