Laufer-Ukeles Torts I Outline Fall 2011
A. Intent-contact vs. harm-purposeful and/or substantial certainty.
1) Substantially certain that contact (not harm) will be inflicted (single intent)
2) Substantially certain to commit harm (dual intent)
-clear substantially certainty need to be added. Majority (what Garratt tells us) see it as that you have to have intent that contact will happen and such contact is offensive to a reasonable person- single intent-don’t have to intend to harm, just to contact.
-Minority- intent to commit harm. Dual intent- intend to contact AND to harm- if you don’t have intent to contact, then you don’t have intent to harm. Higher level of culpability-takes intent more seriously.
-Ranson v. Kitner-there is single and dual intent in this case. *New rule: mistake of fact is no excuse. That is how we choose to live in the world. Have to hold someone responsible for the mistake. Created a higher level of culpability.
-*Doctrine of transferred intent- does not matter that the injury happened to someone other than the intended target. Ease level of culpability (lowers it). It operates to impose liability when a D has the intent to commit assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land, or trespass to chattels & harm results to another’s person or property- seen in Talmage. Can intend to do one tort and therefore transfers to other torts.
-Acts intending to cause offensive contact
-Offensive contact results
-Causation (loose-easier to find in intentional torts)
-Not otherwise privileged/ self-defense
-What contact is offensive?
-Learn from Garratt v. Dailey- does not have to be direct contact.
-Brzoska v. olson- issue is exposure.
-egg shell doctrine- someone is particularly vulnerable to injury-not based on a reasonable person and the P may recover all his damages notwithstanding the lack of foreseeability of the ultimate injury.
1) intent-substantial certainty/ purposeful to commit offensive contact or harmful contact
to a reasonable person.
2) Offensive contact occurs
-1) physical contact with their person
-2) removing an object
-3) touching or removing an object that is tangential/ continuous w/ the person’s body- fisher v. carrousel
-Fisher-clearly intent, contacted plate and that was enough, causation and not otherwise privileged. All about plate-when you take away plate-more than a racial slur, infringing on personal space and violating personal dignity and saying you can’t be there. Have own space/area that can’t be interfered with.
-1) acts with intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact OR an imminent apprehension of such contact (afraid that you are about to batter them)
-2) the other must be actually put in apprehension
-4) not privileged (ok when in self-defense or property defense- in talmage)
-not assault if other person does not see it. In order for there to be assault, the P must apprehend or understand that the assault was about to occur.
-Western union telegraph co. v. hill- any solicitation of sex is not assault.
-intentional offer to touch another that creates in the P
-well-founded fear of an (reasonable)
-battery coupled with
-the apparent present ability to effectuate the attempt (feasible for the contact to occur)
-Summary of assault
– putting another in reasonable fear of imminent harm
-you need only intend offensive action, not the harm (single intent)
-must be reasonable fear of that harm (objective)
-must be aware of action (unlike battery)
D. False Imprisonment
-acts intending to contain the other or a third person w/in the boundaries fixed by actor
-results in confinement (objective-well founded belief that you are confined)
-other is conscious OR is harmed by the confinement
-no privilege or authority of law
-if held at gun point, you can bring a suit for false imprisonment
-shopkeeper’s privilege- can hold them for a reasonable amount of time (usually 15 to 20 minutes) but if they did not shoplift than the shopkeeper can be held liable.
-Summary of assault/ false imprisonment
-assault and false imprisonment need awareness-in that sense these intentional torts are quite different from battery
-must be reasonable belief in imminent harm of imprisonment-objective, not subjective standard (battery? – objective, yes. Need contact to a reasonable person)
E. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
-State rubbish collectors v. siliznoff- not assault- no imminent danger
-IIED-new tort. Does not fit into other types of torts.
-advent of IIED- tort law more widely used to address social injustices, not just physical grievances, law is capable of change, less concerned about speculative nature of emotional injuries
-Harris v. Jones:
-1) intent- dual intent tort. Have to intend to cause the distress or have substantial certainty that distress will occur (recklessly cause distress. In deliberate disregard of a high degree of probability that emotional distress will follow)
-2) extreme and outrageous conduct-outside of bounds of society. Uncivilized, something that shocks the conscience
-3) severe distress- real element you need to prove. Some courts need physical proof
-no transferred intent with IIED. Easy to allege but hard to prove. Want to have a higher level of intent.
-there is an element of causation
-What is extreme and outrageous behavior?
-mere insults are usually not enough-need to leave realm of insulting behavior
-marriage? When should it be allowed. Hard to call. It is contextual.
-What is severe emotional distress?
-depends on the jurisdiction
-Tangible physical effects – illness, miscarriage
-Nervousness, headaches, indigestion – with medical proof
-Indication of distress without any medical proof
-Intent in IIED
-intend to cause distress
-substantial certainty that distress will occur
-Recklessly cause distress in deliberate disregard of a high degree of probability that emotional distress will follow.
-IIED v. other intentional torts
-dual intent necessary
-need to suffer severe harm
-no nominal damages
-no transferred intent
F. Trespass to land (battery for property)
-intentionally entering the land of another
-entering the land
-in possession of another
-can be nominal damages-don’t have to prove actual damages.
-mistaken entry? What if you thought it was a public park & you break something but it is actually private property? Ranson v. kitner-mistake of fact. Would still have trespassed, even if it is public and he thinks he is allowed to be there, you still have committed this tort.
-no volition (will)/ have to purposely intend to do some act-why if you lose control of your car and end up in someone’s living room then you have not committed a trespass to land.
-What if your friend pushes you onto someone else’s land-no volition.
Trespass to Land for environmental trespass
-intent to enter
-enter the land
-Chemicals (are actual things/particles) – know with substantial certainty that chemicals will enter the land of the a
level of interference (time, amount of damage)
-Conversion-get full market value if you so choose. Convert it.
-TC-just get amount of damages. Must show actual damages like nuisance. No nominal damages because there has to be damages.
-conversion is battery of TC-so doesn’t have to recover, you can get nominal damages. Typical intentional tort. It is a tort of dignity.
-if you have a high level of interference and a low level of intent than that could push you to conversion. Three levels of culpability to balance low level of interference- mistake, horseplay (more likely now to be conversion because have higher level of intent and significant damage), theft.
-Intel corp v. hamidi- trial court said that there is a trespass to chattels-need damage and that is the big issue in this case. Supreme Court says there was no trespass to chattels because there was no damage to the actual computer system. Employees are not chattels. Professor epison- should be like a “castle”, should be like real property-because even if there is no damage than you can sue for nominal damages and get an injunction-trying to get him to stop the emails. I
-internet is a public domain. There is a freedom of electronic communication. The internet is not a castle. Policy considerations going on. Internet- not a chattel and not land. Maybe should be somewhere in between. Torts are archaic and don’t fit well w/internet and policy question of how we want to treat these servers-more public or more private.
-Argument for intel- still owns this space. I did let people come in but lady who is picketing does not have right to come in-UD owns building.
I. Umbrella Intentional Tort
-an actor who intentionally causes physical harm is subject to liability for that harm-sometimes have things that don’t fit into the other intentional torts.
Review of Intentional Torts
-Culpability (wrongfulness)-important. Highest level in IT. Because can have nominal and punitive damages. Don’t have to have actual damages.
-Redressing harms done v. allocation of responsibility-most about punishment
-dual v. single intent, transferred intent, mistake of fact
-awareness of wrong done.
-Personal dignity-nominal damages-all torts that have this are about personal dignity
Damages (damages are important, don’t forget about them on an exam)
-Eggshell doctrine-once you prove and IT, whatever happens to person, you have to pay for all harm done. Take the victim as you find them. Whatever happens, happens.
-1. Physical (medical)-actual damages
-2. Punitive damages-not related to physical damages-just there to punish you
-3. Nominal damages-did not find any physical damages but will let you recover anyway. Only in intentional torts- don’t need actual damages. Want to punish you because of a high level of culpability. Let victim recover even if there are no actual/ physical damages. It is a punitive measure.
-4. Emotional damage (emotional distress) (pain and suffering)
-5. Property damages-injunctions, creatively trying to prevent something from happening.