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Torts
University of Illinois School of Law
Meyer, David D.

Exam Tips

In every tort action, the plaintiff must show the elements necessary to bring a cause of action. Once the plaintiff does this, the burden of proving otherwise shifts to the defendant.
Be methodical about covering every issue that a lawyer would need to cover.
Goal in writing the answer is to show everything that you have learned throughout the semester. –anything relevant should go on the page.

I. Intentional Torts

liability for the intentional wrongdoing (subjective)
faulty state of mind at the time the actor causes injury.

A. Battery

§ 13. Battery: Harmful Contact
An actor is subject to liability to another for battery if
(a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact, and
(b) a harmful contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results.
§ 18. Battery: Offensive Contact
(1) An actor is subject to liability to another for battery if
(a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact, and
(b) an offensive contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results…

Elements of a Prima Facie Case
1) intent
2) harmful
3) unprivileged

1. Intent

intent to make contact, not the intent to do injury
Eggshell plaintiff rule

In a personal injury action, D is still liable for consequences if all the harm was not expected.

Reasonable foreseeability rule

Does not require that D foresaw the precise extent of harm, only the type of injury.
The act must be intentional or substantially certain, but the this is not true of the consequences of the act.

Constructive intent

Actual intent will be presumed when an act leading to the result could have been reasonably expected to cause that result.

Transferred intent

Between torts

Acting for the purpose of creating apprehension of imminent and harmful contact makes one liable for assault. Intent to commit assault to enough to cause battery action if the other party is injured.

Between victims/targets

An intent to make a harmful contact with one person is transferred over to the third party who actually suffers harmful contact.

Two ways to establish intent

1) Acting with purpose
2) Acting with knowledge

Cases

Vosburg v. Putney

el Motor Hotel

D snatches dish away from P’s hand, saying that Negro could not be served in the restaurant. (Held, for P)
Vicarious liability: If employee commits the tort while carrying the employee’s business, “within the scope of employment,” employee vicariously liable for tort.
Punitive damages: Awarded when D’s conduct is particularly outrageous.

McCraken v. Sloan

P complains of D’s smoke which causes him allergic reactions.
Tobacco smoke—vapor—is contact.
However, daily ordinary contact, even though it may be offensive, does not meet the requirement, due to the glass cage defense.

Cohen v. St. Joseph Memorial Hospital

P asks D to have only female nurses, a male nurse comes and touches her body.
Offensive contact
Different from McCraken because of patient-doctor relationship.

3. Privileges
a. CONSENT

“Consent is willingness in fact for conduct to occur. It … need not be communicated to the defendant.” à subjective willingness (Restatement)

Express Consent (i.e. in words)