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Torts
Temple University School of Law
Burris, Scott

INTENTIONAL TORTS
8/27 – 21-26
The meaning of “intent” in torts
Intentional torts – Simple rules for simple ends:
Protecting interests in bodily integrity by punishing, through compensation, people who deliberately invade those interests
Purposes: Deterrence; Justice/Retribution; Compensation
Intent OR Knowledge with substantial certainty that harm would result from action as surrogate for proof of “intent”
Garratt v. Dailey(1955) – 5 yr old pulls chair out from π as she sits down. Remanded for fact-finding. What is at issue is not just whether boy intended harm, but knew with substantial certainty that harm to π would occur. Main Point: knowledge with subs. certainty that harm will occur is enough for intent
Distinction between intent, negligence and strict liability as it appears in
Barber v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (1987) – Court found co. could potentially be held liable for battery where decisionmakers in co. knew w/ subs certainty harm to πs would result from them being exposed to levels of asbestos known to be harmful. Intent of co. a matter of material fact.
The elements of battery
Black letter element
Notes and confusions
An intentional
Intended harm or offense, or acted knowing harm or offense was substantially likely to occur
Transferred intent: satisfied 1 but in relation to someone other than victim
Intent to offend even in minor way (prank) may make D liable for unforeseeable harm
touching
D, or something he holds or sets in motion touches P or something P is holding or wearing
that is harmful or offensive
Offensive to a reasonable person
without consent
Consent must be informed, genuine
 
Intentional tort “Stew” – The checklist of elements approach is good in identifying tort in fact pattern, but another, sometimes better is the “stew” approach. Predicting outcome/persuade jury. Look for:
Offensiveness/Harm
Evil intentions
Social attitudes
Herr v. Booten (1990) – Buddies take college kid drinking on day before 21st b-day. He dies of acute alcohol poisoning. Parents sue roommates for battery. Judgment for Δs: Court says contact was not “harmful”, (but it was!) – doesn’t “taste” like a tort – court saying “don’t bring us anymore of these!
Vosburg v. Putney (1893)– D reaches across aisle in classroom and kicks P’s leg aggravating injury. Court distinguishes between behavior that would be acceptable in classroom v. that acceptable on, say, playground. Main Point: “Offe

to club them?
The relationship between assault and battery
The doctrine of respondeat superior
Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel (1967) – black π goes to luncheon at hotel rest. Δ grabs plate out of π’s hand and shouts racial insult.
Contact with P’s actual body not required
“Offensive” is subjective – BUT manager intended act that reasonable person under circumstances would find offensive
Respondeat superior – ER liable for the EE’s or agent’s wrongful acts committed within the scope of employment or agency.
 
9/8 – 27-32
The elements of false imprisonment
Black letter element
Notes and confusions
D acts with the intention of confining P
Specific intent to confine is required
Threats will suffice
within boundaries set by D
Boundary is smaller than a country
No need for locked doors etc – just boundaries
The act results in confinement
Directly or indirectly
P is conscious of or harmed by the confinement
If not, no tort