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Torts
University of Illinois School of Law
Hurd, Heidi M.

Torts- University of Illinois
Heidi Hurd- Spring 2011

Intentional Torts In General

Need intent and act like crim

Gives certain advantages compared to other torts:
1)      Jury might give you more money (higher nominal dmgs)
2)      Punitive damages which equals more money
3)      Nominal damages and harm are assumed, π gets to vindicate rights,
4)      More tolerant of causal remotes including crazy causal chains when there’s intentional torts
5)      Intentional tort ruling not dischargeable in bankruptcy but is dischargeable  for neg
6)      Statute of lim shorter for intentional tort
7)      Different defenses e.g. contributor negligence is available for neg.
8)      Youth gets a sliding scale of reasonableness in neg that’s not there for torts e.g. kid pulls out chair from grandma he’s liable, kid throws out grandma’s heart medicine not knowing what is, judged as child

Prima Facie Case for Intentional Torts:
1)      voluntary tortious act (e.g. voluntary contraction of muscles not a seizure or something)
2)      wrongful intention (remember the scale slides as low as MPC reckless [consciously disregards a risk] for intentional torts mental state)
3)      causation (Ask hurd about remoteness allowed in intentional torts-> is there just but for?)
4)      damages legally reasonable

Consequences of PF Case:  
1)      Failure to plead an element can lead to dismissal
2)      Pleads it all but can’t prove it all à summary judgment
3)      Judge can’t see a use of a jury à direct verdict

How the PF Case Hashed Out:
1)      PF Case Plead
2)      Affirmative defense
3)      Π’s response to ∆’s affirm defense
4)      Rejoinder (∆)

E.G. 1) Unlawful sex contact
2) Consent
3) Fraud
4) Paying for sex with countefeit $ is not fraud relative to the injury alleged

Transferred intent:
Ex. throwing an ashtray and hitting someone else- intend h/o contact but victim is not your intended victim but you formed intent and committed act

Battery

3 conceptions of the rule for battery.

Should battery be:
1)      Intend contact and cause harm?
2)      Intend contact and it must be of h/o sort but don’t need to intend consequence?
3)      An intended act causes harm?

Rule 2 is the correct rule! Intend contact that is h/o nature but only need to intend act

Intent rule: Intent must be unlawful (remember goes down as far as consc. disrgrd risk)

Should an act be deemed unlawful merely because it could be criminal? No! Dependence thesis is bad rule.

just unlawful at common law) and so liable for all consequences of h/o act.

Consider:
1)      What if it was an open classroom where everyone got to touch each other/s bodies, no conception of bodily integrity in classroom?
2)      If action brought in neg would Vosburg be barred by zoning out in class and getting Putney to nudge him?
3)      What if they were on the playground? Would consent be implied by the license of the playground?

Garret v Daily: 5 year old pulls chair out from grandma, she falls and gets hurt. Demonstrated at trial kid was subst. certain (knowledge) grandma would fall, therefore his vol. act caused a h/o contact and he was liable

Consider:
1)      Could family have just shown he was neg somehow? Wouldn’t π push for int. tort to avoid special neg standard for kids? How could they get out of a showing of knowledge? Remember some jurisdictions say children are too young to form the necessary mental state… cut off of 7? Here jurisdiction did not apply it.