Select Page

Torts
University of Kentucky School of Law
Healy, Michael P.

INTRODUCTION
 
1.      Introduction
a.       Aims of Tort Law
                                                              i.      Prevention of Self-Help
                                                            ii.      Corrective Justice: Retribution against wrongdoers
1.      Roots back to Aristotle, according to Aristotle, the injurer must do wrong as well as harm
2.      Aristotle believed that only “deliberate acts” are unjust or wrong-accidents don’t count
3.      The key issue with Corrective Justice is “blameworthiness”
                                                          iii.      Allocative Justice: Deterrence of wrongdoers
                                                          iv.      Distributive Justice: Compensation for victims
b.      General v. Particular Theory of Tort Law
                                                              i.      General Theory: Tort law CAN be expanded
                                                            ii.      Particular Theory: Extrapolation of already decided cases is necessary (legislation should deal with new law and not the courts)
c.       Forms of action at Common Law
                                                              i.      Tresspass
1.      Emerged around 1250
a.       Direct/immediate injurty to Plaintiff caused by Defendant, no need to show fault
b.      No need to show actual injury (it is presumed)
                                                                                                                                      i.      The Case of Thorns: Fault/Intent does not matter in trespass cases, judgement for P
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Weaver v.Ward: Doesn’t matter if D didn’t intend injuryà “no man is excused from trespass,” burden on D
1.      Exceptions
a.       Another person injured P (negligible)
b.      “Inevitable injury or accident”
                                                                                                                                                                                                              i.      burden on D to show this
                                                            ii.      Trespass on the case
1.      Emerged around 1350
a.       Indirect (consequential) injury to Plaintiff
b.      Required to prove actual injury
c.       Must show that defendants conduct resulted from fault (intent or negligence)
                                                          iii.      If Dà(harmful action)àAàBàPlaintiff
1.      Plaintiff cannot sue D for trespass, because of indirect intervention, P can sue B for trespass, however
                                                          iv.      Transition to modern tort concepts
1.      Brown v. Kendall (Dog Fight Case)
a.       “Direct Injury” no longer leads to absolute liability
b.      Plaintiff now has burden of proving “unlawful intent” or negligence” (opposite of Case of Thorns)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Neither is present here, no liability for D
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Rooted strongly in Corrective Justice
c.       Courts are now far more reluctant to impose liability upon defendants
d.      Industrialization as basisà too much going on for “direct injury” to allow for recovery, something more is now needed
 
 
 
 
 
 
INTENTIONAL TORTS
 
1.     Intent
a.       Desire for the tortious consequence (i.e. assault/battery) to occur
                                                              i.      Jackson v. Brantley
1.      Tort case based on statute
2.      Doesn’t matter that guy didn’t desire/substantially certain that consequence would occur, just matter that he desired to place horses on the road
b.      Acting with substantial certainity that the tortious consequence will occur
                                                              i.      Substantial certainity does not mean that D is “pretty sure” that the consequence will occur, he must be certainà it is going to happen     
1.      Agent Orange Case:Difficulty discerning between substanital certainty and substantial risk (not really)
c.       Hierarchy of Risk
                                                              i.      Substantial Certainty(INTENT)àwillfull behavioràgross negligenceàUnreasonable Risk(NEGLIGENCE)àReasonable Risk(NO NEGLIGENCE)
2.     Transferred Intent
a.       Applies to assault, battery, trespass to land and chattels, and false imprisonment
b.      Transferred Intent between Individuals
                                                              i.      Singer v. Marx: If A intends tort towards B, and consequence occurs to C, A can be held liable to C for the tort by way of transferred intent
c.       Transferred Intent between torts
                                                              i.      If you intend one tort, and another tort results, you can be held liable for the resulting tort
d.      Rooted firmly in Distributive Justice, the idea that innocent victims should be compensated for their injuries
3.     Battery
a.       Elements
                                                              i.      Intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact OR intent to cause apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact (intent to cause assault is sufficient to satisfy intent for battery)
                                                            ii.      Harmful or offensive contact (torti

” intended the act of putting the sand in that place, which happened to be B’s property.
                                                            ii.      “A” puts a pile of sand on his property line; sand goes onto B’s property
1.      “A” is liable for trespass.
2.      Intended to place sand on property & reasonably knew it would go onto B’s property
                                                          iii.      “A” is driving down the road & is lost; stops & asks B for directions; B instructs A to drive down C’s driveway to get to the house he is looking for.
1.      “A” is liable for trespassing on C’s property
2.      Arguably, C could sue B for trespass b/c B desired to move B onto C’s property.
6.     Trespass to Chattels
a.       Elements
                                                              i.      Intentional interference with OR destruction of personal property (chattel)
                                                            ii.      Same with trespass to land, not a defense if you believe the chattel is yours
b.      Hypotheticals
                                                              i.      Driving down the road & run over someone’s personal property that is in the middle of the road.
1.      If property was avoidableàliable. (intended to drive car over prop.)
2.      If didn’t see propertyànot liable for trespass to chattels (may be liable for recklessness).
                                                            ii.      Man desires to shoot what he thinks is a wolf, actually someone’s dog.
1.      Desired to commit the act (shoot)àliable for trespass to chattels.
7.     Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
a.       4 Elements according to Restatement
                                                              i.      Extreme and outrageous conduct (narrowing of tort from earlier concepts); high threshold tort
1.      Needs to be objective measurement-the concept of sensitivity and knowledge of the sensitivity still applies
2.      This is judged objectively based on community’s standard of what is outrageous or egregious (similar to “offensive touching” for battery/assault)
3.      When analyzing extreme/outrageous conduct two important issues are relevant
a.       Repitition of behavior
b.      Abuse of power