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Torts
University of Denver School of Law
Smith, Catherine E.

Catherine Smith, Spring 2018, Franklin and Rabin, Tort Law and Alternatives (10th ed. 2016)
 
Torts outline
Overview
What is tort law?
i. To determine whether someone’s actions harmed another and whether they should be required to compensate that person for the harm done
ii. Levels of fault: (Strict Liability), negligence (objective), gross negligence (objective), recklessness (subjective), knowing (subjective), desire (subjective), (Strict Liability)
 
Goals of Tort Law
i. Make the person “whole”
Compensation
Fairness
Punishment
Deterrence
ii. Criminal Law- different because it is about retribution/punishment
 
TYPES OF BURDENS
i. BURDEN OF PLEADINGS
Plaintiff files complaint à Defendant files answer
ii. BURDEN OF PRODUCTION
Burden on party to produce evidence
Plaintiff has to produce more than a SENTILLA that shows each element of the claim
Defendant has to produce evidence for contributory negligence or assumption of risk
iii. BURDEN OF PERSUASION
Preponderance of the evidence
Must be more likely than not for each element

ring under the circumstances
ii. Defendant should have known
iii. (Car accidents, slip & fall, med mal practice, etc.)
iv. Objective test – looking at their conduct, not their state of mind
v. 80% of tort cases
Intentional Torts
i. Desire (purpose) to cause consequences
ii. Knowing that consequences are substantially certain to occur based on action or inaction
Strict Liability
i. Liability without fault
ii. Ultra-hazardous, blasting, defective condition of product, manufacture defects, etc. (doesn’t apply to auto accidents)
 
Negligence (overview)
DUTY
i. Legal obligation to conform one’s conduct to a particular standard of care
Special Relationship
Voluntary Undertaking
Creation of injury/risk
Promise and reliance
Statute
Contract
ii. Question of law
 
BREACH
i. Failure to conform one’s conduct to a particular standard of care
B