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Temple University School of Law
Rahdert, Mark C.

Torts Outline:

Tort law: duty to another imposed involuntarily by law.
· Main object is deterrence
· Fairness: defined as deal you would strike w/yourself if you were negotiating on both sides.
· Two forms of Action in tort law:
(1) Trespass à strict liability
(2) Case à Negligence

– Negligence depends on standard of ordinary care – reasonable person
– Π has burden of proof
– Should standard of negligence change if business involved vs. ordinary person?
o If r was attack dog trainer and accident occurred
§ Hold him to strict liability – can’t profit from injury to others
– Social policy may determine standards of care

– Abnormally dangerous activity requires strict liability (Restatement 2d)
o 6 factors determining abnormal danger: (taken as whole)
(1) High risk harm
(2) Gravity of harm great
(3) Reasonable care can’t eliminate risk
(4) Not common usage
(5) Activity Inappropriate to place
(6) Value to community (risk v. reward)

– Difference b/t Negligence and Strict Liability
o Business better able to bear loss (insurance)
o Foreseeability of risk
o Alternatives (other options that avoid danger)
– Focus on Compensation
– Function like strict liability (you commit act – you are responsible)
– Transferred intent: Recklessness standard
○ Ex. Eraser fight: Trying to hit person A and hitting person B
**Can’t transfer intent from non-person to person (pole to person)
– Intent: State of mind requirement of actor
(1) Intent to Act
· Intent to invade legally protected interest (intent to make contact not to harm)
· Knowledge to “Substantial Certainty” that act will invade legally protected interest
(2) Intent to Harm – Generally not required to be proven
(3) Damages – not required
– “Crowded World” Exception:
o Certain amount of inevitable touching exists w/o invading legally protected
interests. [social utility] § Ex. Teacher fire drill case, people on train

– “Thin Skull Rule” – Take Π as you find him
o r liable for ALL damages from intentional act
§ Ex. Kicking kid in leg results in disease
o Context of act is important in determining legality of act
§ Ex. Kick unlawful b/c in classroom not on playground
Elements of Battery:
– Intentional invasion of protected legal interests
– Lack of Consent
– W/O privilege
**DON’T NEED to prove intent to harm
**Damages NOT required
– Privilege (parent, medical)
– Implied Consent (emergency, sports, teacher)
– Self Defense (can protect yourself)
– Property Defense (can protect your property)
o Force limitations: can use greater force in self defense than in property defense

r should be held liable in battery b/c:
– Deterrence of bad behavior
– Compensation of Π
– Retaliation: stops Π from feeling they must retaliate

“Medical experimentation” – battery unless informed consent given
– Doctor must obtain consent before performing non-emergency procedure

Battery on an object in one’s hand or clothing can be battery
– Ex. Intentional taking of an plate from man’s

Federal Torts Claims Act:
– Can’t su

defense if act done outside scope of employment
– Ex. Eating sturgeon not part of police officers duty \ no immunity
Application of Assault Elements:
– Intent – entered office to take documents and publish them
– Dominion – temporary while copying documents, not permanent
– Interference w/owner’s rights – none, can still be used, never altered

Test of complete interference:
– Denial of use/access to property – Π still had access
– Altering property – not altered, just copied
– Destruction of value – none

Intangible property protected when: trade secret, scientific info, invention

– “Assumed” consent:
o Emergency –“implied consent” patient would want to live, no time to revive pt.
o Substituted consent – responsible part enabled to give consent for patient
§ Parent – child
§ Designated person (prior to surgery)
o Blanket consent – consent form for “large group” of things on one form
o Treatment v. Method of treatment:
§ Consent needed for treatment, once given doctor uses professional discretion to decide best method
– Π consents to one operation, new consent needed before going to different body part.
o Ex. Operating on right ear need new consent for left ear