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

Laufer-Ukeles_Torts_Fall_2010
 
Creating a better world in which proper responsibility lies
 
Torts provides civil liability
·         Not a prosecution, but a litigation
·         Receive damages for harms done (physical, emotional, nominal)
 
3 types of Torts
1.      Intentional torts
2.      Negligence
3.      Strict liability
 
·         Difference is degree of culpability
 
 
 
System of tort law aims to accomplish 3 things:
1.      Control or regulate harmful behavior
2.      Assign responsibility for injuries suffered
3.      Provide damages
 
Why have torts?
1.      Redress for harm done
2.      Allocate responsibility to affect future responsibility
 
·         Most people are certain that an act is offensive or not
o   Not true with disease, insanity, small children
 
 
 
 
 
 
INTENTIONAL TORTS
 
INTERFERENCE WITH PERSONS AND PROPERTY
 
INTENT
 
Garrat v. Dailey (CB: 1)
Boy sued after pulling chair from under woman who subsequently falls and gets injured
Child liable in torts no matter what age
High level of culpability
Why sue a child?
Homeowner’s insurance
Courts have ruled parents not liable for children’s actions
Insurance does not cover intentional torts
Promotes bad behavior
Although sometimes it will cover for minors
Willful or unlawful intent is not enough to decide the facts
Trial court not only needed to look for intent to harm, but also intent to do the conduct
Was he substantially certain that she would try to sit
Just certain that contact would occur (single intent)
 
3 Rules: Apply between intentional torts (done to lower culpability)
 
1.  Substantial Certainty
 
In order to show intent, need:
 
 
 
 
Highly likely not enough (reckless), need to be substantially certain – in regards to contact not harm
 
2.  Mistake of Fact
 
Ranson v. Kitner (conversion)
·         Did not know was dog
·         Mistake of fact does not matter
 
Transferred Intent
 
If you hold the necessary intent with respect to person A, held to have committed intentional tort against any other person who happens to be injured. 
 
Talmage v. Smith (battery)
 
3 issues:
1.      Intent to make offensive contact
2.      Was it warranted since trespassed
3.      Meant to hit someone else
 
If intent was:
·         “Assault” frighten not liable because of trespass
·         Hit, but with reasonable force, not liable
·         Hit with unreasonable force, unlawful act, must be liable
 
Workers compensation
Keeps cost of business down
Does not cover intentional torts
Disincentive to abuse employees
 
Intent v. negligence:  where does substantial certainty fall in?
Everyone knows this is a reasonably dangerous job and there exists substantial certainty a danger can occur, so workers comp and not to court
Should have used safeguards?  Question of perspective
 
INTENTIONAL TORTS AGAINST PERSONS 
 
BATTERY
 
13.  Battery: Harmful Contact
An actor is subject to liability to another for battery

xposed
Policy reasons – want to prevent AIDS phobia
 
Minority of courts allow recovery without actual exposure to the AIDS virus
Recovery is limited to the distress suffered during the “window of anxiety” period, that is, the time between the possible exposure to HIV and the receipt of negative test results
 
Eggshell Doctrine
Take your victims as you find them
Does not matter if they reacted differently than you expected
You are responsible and it doesn’t matter if the reaction could or could not have been foreseen
 
Hypo 4 (CB: 20)
Actual exposure to poisonous chocolates
No precautions taken to prevent form eating
Would be battery – offensive to a reasonable person
 
Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel (CB: 21)
Man called n— and gets plate thrown out of hand by hotel employee in buffet line. 
Battery is more about the immobility of my personal space, not necessarily about contact
don’t need direct contact
Respondent superior
Employed in a managerial capacity and was in the scope of his employment
 
Respondent superior
Form of vicarious liability where the liability falls on employer for tortuous conduct of employee
Employed in a managerial capacity and was in the scope of his employment