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Torts II
University of Mississippi School of Law
Percy, E. Farish

TORTS, Spring 07
Percy, § 1
What is Intent
Intent is the desire to bring about a result
This is the Key to all intentional torts
2 types
Actual-intent to cause the result
Presumed-intent to act with substantial certainty that result will occur
Proof of intent
Actual-show that D intended to cause the result
Presumed-show that D acted with substantial certainty that result would occur
Mistake is not an exception
Intoxication is not an excuse: intent still exists
Insanity-person can still be held liable
Exception-insanity to the point that intent can not be formed
Minors-still capable of intent
See MacQuire v. Almy: child pulled out chair from beneath another as they were in the process of sitting
Doctrine of Transferred Intent
If intent to harm one evident, that intent transfers if harm comes to another
Applies to all intentional torts
Unforeseen Consequences Doctrine
See Talmage v. Smith: man intended to hit one boy, but hit another
Intentional Torts against a Person
4 types: Battery, Assault, False Imprisonment, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
General Rules
No contributory negligence claims allowed (there was no negligence; this is intentional)
Intentional infliction of harmful OR offensive contact
R.2d § 213
Subject to liability for battery if:
Intending to cause harmful/offensive contact or intending to cause imminent apprehension of contact, AND
Contact results
Intent to inflict
Harmful/offensive contact
Contact results
There does not have to be contact with the person, only contact with something attached or closely associated with the person’s body
See Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel: D snatched a plate out of another’s hands
The contact is normally judged on a RPP standard
Not whether the particular P found it to be offensive, but whether a reasonable person would
Exception: hypersensitive person could argue for a subjective standard based on the facts.
Victim does not have to be aware the battery is being committed at the time of commission (Sleeping Beauty cases).
Intentional causing of apprehension of harmful OR offensive contact
Unlike assault there is no contact required
D must have intended to cause the apprehension of contact or the actual contact (yet failed to contact)
Threatened contact
Apparent ability to contact (not actua

Conviction of crime is a complete defense
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Intentional or reckless infliction of extreme of outrageous conduct that causes severe emotional distress in another
Liable for the distress and any physical harm resulting
Some jurisdictions require intent
D either intended to cause ED or acted with substantial certainty it would occur
through extreme/outrageous conduct
Severe emotional distress occurred
Question of fact
What is extreme/outrageous conduct?
RPP standard? Would a reasonable person
Find conduct outrageous
Be caused severe distress
Cannot just hurt feelings
Hypersensitivity may be taken into consideration
Doctrine of Transferred Intent usually not allowed.
Opens the flood gates for litigation
R.2d: T/I for relatives who witness harm to family member without actual harm; for all others there must be actual harm
Majority: family bystander must D
Knew bystander was observing