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Torts
University of Illinois School of Law
Robbennolt, Jennifer K.

Torts Outline, Robbennolt

I. Intentional Torts
Respondeat Superior – One’s master is only liable if one acts in the conduct of one’s job
-Fischer – Yes, he was a manager on the job
-Western Union – No, since he was doing this out of his own sexual desires
Damages: Nominal Damages work for assault, battery, imprisonment, trespass to land

A: Intent is either
i. Desire to cause the consequences of the act OR
-D bad with arrows, certain he won’t hit P, but wants to hit P, so he has desire
ii. Belief that the consequences are substantially certain to result from it
-DiFede v. Munneke (law prof explaining Garratt, substantial certainty)
-only need intent to cause some offensive contact (Caudle v. Betts (car dealer joy buzzer)
-mentally ill not excepted if they can form intent(McGuire v. Almy, crazy old woman)
-Garratt v. Dailey (kid pulls chair, did the 5 year old know it would cause any harm?)
-Ranson v. Kitner (hunting wolves, instead shoot dog, they intended to kill something)

Transferred Intent
-can transfer intent between assault, battery, trespass, imprisonment and between targets
-Talmage v. Smith (intended to trespass against A, actually trespassed B’s chattels)

B: Battery is
Conduct intentionally causing harmful or offensive contact with the person of another
i. harmful contact
-“any physical impairment of the condition of another’s body, or pain or illness”
-skater Hypo (good faith does not mean no intent to somehow cause pain)
ii. offensive contact
-“offends a reasonable [subjective] sense of personal dignity”
– don’t have to know at the time that it happened(kiss in your sleep Hypo)
-the fear must be reasonable, not just common (Brzoska, HIV doctor)
-one’s objects are one’s body (Fischer, Black at a conference)
-Policy: protects one’s bodily integrity

C: Assault is
-Conduct intentionally causing apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact
-any attempt at feasible contact can be an assault, even without fear(Western Union)
-Policy: protects one’s personal dignity
-Defense of others probably privileges a warning of otherwise unknown danger
D: False Imprisonment is
Conduct intentionally causing unlawful confinement against will within fixed boundaries
i. conduct intentionally causing
-must intend a “willful detention”
-will requires either purpose or reasonable knowledge that detention will result
ii. unlawful confinement against one’s will within fixed boundaries:
-this can be accomplished by threat, which you don’t have to test
-the threat must inspire fear of injury to person, reputation, or property
-NOT “I’ll lose my license”
-can’t typically be threatened enough over the phone
-you must not know of or have at all a reasonable means of escape
-don’t have to escape by sacrificing your personal dignity (Sauna Hypo)
-Frat party/wilderness, Boat Hypo
-preventing someone from using their car DOES NOT preclude this
-typically you must be either aware of the confinement or harmed by it
-Baby locked in vault, Boss with guard and employee

E: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
i. Conduct must be intentional or reckless
-reckless is “a conscious disregard of a high degree of risk”
-desire or knowledge of a high risk
Must have intent or recklessness for ii, iii, and iv, too
-intentionally shooting a dog in self-defense was not done to cause ED
ii. Conduct must be extreme and outrageous
Harris v Jones: was this teasing normal for the workplace? Same applies to kids
Sometimes a debt collector can be extreme, depending on their tactics
iii. Must be a causal connection between the conduct and the distress
-Harris can’t prove distress wasn’t preexisting
iv. The emotional distress must be severe
-when they say severe, they mean severe. Harris didn’t qualify.
Bystanders: Plaintiff bystander must be present when injury occurs and must be close relative of the injured. Defendant must know these facts when injuring.
Policy concerns
-Quantify the damage?
-Chill free speech?
-False claims are probable
-Real harm, even though mental, can still be significant

f all harm
-if the person is unable to consent, they don’t have to
Consent invalidated by…
1. Fraud, misrepresenting yourself (DeMay v Roberts pregnancy)
-NOT being a shady cop, only claiming to be a cop at all
2. Duress, an imminent threat to one’s person or to a family member’s person
-NOT a threat to your driver’s license.
3. Lack of Capacity (consent of children is suspicious, drunks)
4. Going outside the scope of the consent (Medical cases)

B: Self Defense
One may use reasonable force where one reasonably believes that such defense is necessary to protect oneself from imminent danger

B1: Self-Defense By Force Not Threatening Death or Serious Bodily Harm
-can defend with reasonable force against unprivileged harmful or offensive contact if you reasonably believe someone is about to inflict imminent bodily harm
-DO NOT need to try to retreat
-DO NOT need to comply with the assailant’s demands
-DO NOT need to give up a right or privilege
-using excessive force may give rise to counter self-defense

B2: Self-Defense by Force Threatening Death or Serious Bodily Harm
-can defend with serious force if
-you reasonably believe you’re in threat of imminent bodily harm
-if the fear is unreasonable, no dice
­            -you are thereby put in threat of death or serious bodily harm
-you can only safely prevent it with immediate use of such force
-you MUST retreat if you’re not in your own home
-you MUST give up any other right except preventing intrusion into your own home
-you MUST abandon an attempt to lawfully arrest them
In Courvoisier (cop riot), he needed to prove
1. he was acting in good faith
2. his fears were reasonable
3. his means were reasonable