Intent defined –actor desires to cause consequences of his act, or believes that consequences are substantially certain to result from it. (RST)
– met either by purpose to cause tort (like contact), or acts with substantial certainty (subjective) that tort will occur
– higher culpability than negligence
– Transferred intent – intent to commit tort against one, and actually hit another.
o Still culpable. Intent transfers to other party
– ACT must be intentional, NOT result. Liable for unforeseen injuries
– Vosburg v. Putney – liable as long as intended to kick classmate, doesn’t matter didn’t intend to harm. Boy severely injured
TRESPASS TO PERSON
BATTERY – intentional infliction of a harmful or offensive bodily contact
– intent – to make bodily contact
– harmful – causing bodily or physical pain
– offensive – offensive to a reasonable sense of dignity
o Mohr v. Williams – P consents for operation on right ear. D operates on left. This is offensive bodily conduct even though no injury or intent to harm.
o Alcorn v. Mitchell – D spits at P. (Offensive battery)
– Conduct can be indirect.
o Ex. Ordering a dog to attack plaintiff, or setting up string for them to trip on
– Can get punitive and nominal damages
– Plaintiff does not have to know of the Tort at time it occurred
– Can get mental distress damages
TRESPASS TO LAND (close)
– D intentionally enters P’s land, or causes another to enter, or an object to enter
o ALSO INTENTIONAL IF SUBSTANTIALLY CERTAIN TO OCCUR
o “intentional unauthorized entry onto the land of another”
– Causes another person – Smith v. Stone. Forcibly put on property. D Not liable.
– Also if enters lawfully, but remains w/o a right
– OLD à SL for voluntary acts
– RST 166à only SL if trespass while carrying out an “abnormally dangerous activity”
– Only to possessor of property (like rentee). NOT owner
– INTENT – intent to commit physical contact with P’s land
o MISTAKE NOT AN EXCUSE (think land is urs, but not)
o NOT intent to harm
– Damages – Can still get nominal damages, even if no visible harm to property
– Dougherty v. Stepp – Surveyors trespass, D claims did not harm property
o from every entry, there is some damage, even if nothing more than treading of grass.
– Damages – for ALL consequences of trespass, even if not foreseeable
o Cleveland Park Club v. Perry – boy puts tennis ball in hole. Doesn’t think it’s a suction cup. Liable for damages
TRESPASS TO CHATTELS
– D intentionally interferes w/ P’s use or possession of personal property
– “trespass to chattels is the intentional interference with another’s possessory interest in a chattel, resulting in damage to that interest”
– INTENT – Intent to touch, change, use, or take chattel. NOT intent to damage
– RST 218 – no nominal damages for harmless intermeddlings w/ chattel. P must show actual damage.
– RST 219 – Loss of possession is a damage.
– MISTAKE NOT A DEFENSE
– D intentionally; substantially interferes with P’s possession of personal property (not land) that it is fair to require D to pay full value
– Difference w/ T.of Chattel is degree of interference.
o Ex. Extent and duration of D’s control. Whether acted in good or bad faith. Degree of harm
– Mistake not a defense
– Poggi v. Scott – Scott buys house and P’s wine is in basement. Sells the wine barrels thinking it was empty barrels.
o COURTà all that matters is that they didn’t belong to him, but to P. Liable for full wine
– Ex. Steal goods, buy stolen goods, transfer chattel to someone else
– MISTAKE NOT A DEFENSE
DEFENSES TO INTENTIONAL TORTS
– INTENTIONAL TORTS – ASSUME THERE WAS NO CONSENT
– If P consented to intentional interference with body or property, D not liable.
– Consent – can be express or implied from P’s conduct or the circumstances
o Objective manifestation – reasonably seemed to defendant that plaintiff consented.
§ Can be words, conduct, lack of conduct.
§ Test – if reasonable person in position of defendant would believe P consented
§ O’Brien v. Cunard – Vaccine shot. P waited in line for vaccination, told doctor she had had vaccines before, held up her arm, and said nothing else. OBJ. CONSENT
– Mohr. V. William
o Katko v. Briney – Sets up spring trap in boarded up house (not dwelling). Kid breaks and enter with intent to steal. Spring gun goes off and hits in leg.
§ COURT à Similar to ruling in BIRD. Also, can use in felony that is violent in nature.
§ Breaking an entering not a violent felony (note – was NOT in dwelling)
RECAPTURE OF CHATTELS D can use reasonable force under the circumstances
– RST 2d 101- Can only use force if WRONGFULLY taken (taken by force, fraud, or w/o claim/right)
o Kirby v. Foster – P is a bookkeeper at Providence Warehouse Co run by Ds. P loses warehouse money, and it is deducted from his pay. D gives P money to pay other workers. P takes the money he believes is owed to him. Ds grab him and injure to take back.
§ Court à Ds willingly gave him the money. P’s claim to money was an honest mistake.
– When D is privileged to harm P’s property, even though P blameless
– Privileged when act necessary to prevent great harm to 3rd persons or D.
– Danger must be reasonably apparent
– P liable for damage caused by interfering with D’s necessity privilege
o Ploof v. Putnam – (reverse parties) family moors sloop to a dock during a storm. D unmoors, causing damage to P and injury. COURT à P had privilege, D liable for interfering
– PUBLIC NECESSITY – (to many people) – Generally D pays no damages, nor government
o Can be done by public officials or private parties
– PRIVATE NECESSITY – (D’s interest or a few people) – D pays damages
– Must show ACTUAL damages. (trespass of land w/o damages not compensable)
– D has right to interfere with property under necessity
Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation Co. – D moors to dock during storm. Moor damages P’s dock. Court à P had right to use dock, but obligation to compensate for