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Torts
University of Dayton School of Law
Laufer-Ukeles, Pamela

Torts I Professor Laufer-Ukeles Fall 2011

University of Dayton

INTENT DEFINED

INTENT

CONTACT (Single Majority) Jim’s HENDERSON Rule

HARM (Dual Minority) Aaron’s TWERSKI Rule

Purposeful & Substantially Certain

Hitting, pulling chair direct or indirect contact must be offensive to a reasonable PERSON

Substantially certain to commit harm

Substantial certainty: If you desire to bring or knew with substantial certainty that it would occur as a result. Garratt v. Daley (boy and chair)

TYPES OF DAMAGES

1. Physical

2. Emotional

3. Nominal

4. Punitive

5. Special Property

INSURANCE: Usually won’t cover intentional torts but will cover negligence

WORKMANS COMPENSATION: Usually won’t allow for punitive damages unless the employer intended the harm

The dual intent rule requires more wrongfulness. The single intent rule requires less wrongfulness and is more concerned about ordering society and making sure that people conduct themselves in a proper matter going forward.

1. Ignorance no Excuse: Mistake not knowing the law is irrelevant Ranson v. Kitner (dog looks like wolf- mistake of fact no excuse)

2. Insane Person can be liable: If capable of forming the intent, does not include things requiring high intelligence or rationality like deception. Will not include if the person thought you were an object or animal not a person.

3. Transferred Intent: If you plan to commit an intentional tort on person A but instead it affects person B, you will be liable to B because you had the intent.

4. Intent to commit different Tort is also transferrable intent: e.g. you planned to commit one tort i.e. assault but instead commit battery.

5. Eggshell skull: liable for the injuries caused even if they are unforeseeably serious. “takes the victim as he finds him”

IIED, Nuisance & Trespass to chattel = NO NOMINAL

TORT

EXPLANATION

DAMAGES

Battery

Act intending to cause harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person and harmful or offensive contact results.

PERSON= anything closely associated

Does not have to be direct only set the motion in force

Nominal +

Transferred intent

Garrett v. Bailey (minor pulls chair)

Brzoska v. Olson (no HIV exposure)

Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel (discrimination plate pulled from hand)

Act

Intent

Harmful or offensive contact

contact Results

Assault

Act intending to cause harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such contact and the other is thereby put in imminent apprehension.

Nominal+ Transferred Intent

DON’T HAVE TO BE AFRAID

Western Telegraph v. Hill (woman felt imminently threatened)

Act

Intent

Harmful or offensive

Apprehension results

Imminent threat

False Imprisonment

Act intending to imminently confine the person or a third party within boundaries fixed and act directly or indirectly results in such confinement and D is conscious of or harmed by it

Nominal + Transferred Intent

Grant v. Stop N Go Market (man detained in shop)

Intentional

Imminent

harmed or

aware of confinement

IIED

Act recklessly DUAL intent to cause extreme or outrageous emotional distress and person is thereby put in extreme distress and harm results

No NOMINAL

No transferred but present third party who is close can recover. May be restricted to family

Harris v. Jones (employee with speech impediment no direct harm correlated)

Intent, substantially certain, dual intent, extreme, outrageous, harm results

Tangible injury

Medical proof

Trespass to Land

An intentional and unauthorized physical invasion directly or indirectly of plaintiff’s possessory interest in land.

Set the force in motion e.g. spray water, kick ball

Nominal + others

Rogers v. Kent County board (failure to remove object when asked is trespass)

Intent

Unauthorized

Possessory interest

Not mistake of fact

Nuisance

Can be: Intentional, Negligent, or Strict Liability, substanti

3)Aggressor limitation

4)Mistake reasonable if for self

Defense of Real property

May not use deadly force

Katko v. Briney (can’t use shotgun to protect property)

Necessity Privilege

Surroco v. Geary(Liken Rule) Life vs. Property do NOT balance not liable for any damage

Ploof v. Plutnam: Don’t untie the boat or you become negligent

Hypo 19

Life for life balance the risk not guilty for tort but will pay damages

Vincent v. Lake Erie doctrine: wharf damaged property to property not trespass balance risk & pay damages

Defense of Chattel

Mistake no excuse

Reasonable force If in HOT Pursuit

Reasonablness Justification

Justification for the action taken

Sindle v. New York Transit

Bus driver detained students damaging property on bus

Deadly Force

Restatement

1. Present and impending violation” and using deadly force must be reasonably necessary to prevent” violation.

How do you know when deadly force is reasonably necessary?

a. Not actual threat, but must be reasonable for victim to apprehend threat and act in self-defense under the circumstances. (Courvoisier Rule)

Reasonable victim or that victim?

b. Take into account both victim and aggressors physical capacities and psychological make-up.

Self-Defense

1. If threatened with death or grave bodily injury can use deadly force

2. The amount of force proportional to the original force of the aggressor may be used to repel his aggression.

3. Judged by asking how much force deemed reasonably necessary under the circumstances (not actually necessary)

4. Original victim becomes aggressor to the extent using more than proportional force