Select Page

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

–         Intent:
o       Conduct must be voluntary; with
§         Specific intent to cause the tortious act; OR
§         Substantial certainty that such conduct will occur
·        Anything short of substantial certainty does not satisfy intent
o       It is the intent to do the act, not the harm, that is critical in determining whether there has been an intentional tort
§         Hostile intent (malice), or a desire to do harm, is not necessary
·        Malice may give rise to punitive damages
o       Negligence vs. Intentional
§         Foreseeable risk vs. substantial certainty
–         Children & People with Mental Illnesses
o       A child can be held liable for an intentional tort
·        May not be held liable if very young (ex. 2 years old)
§         However, there aren’t many suits against children
·        Children have no money
·        Would be a better claim to sue parents for negligent supervision
o       Mental Illness
§         People with a diminished capacity can be held liable for intentional torts as long as prove the requisite intent
·        It is usually irrelevant that the def. intent may have resulted from a mental condition
§         Policy reasons:
·        Encourage people to take care of the mentally ill
·        If a mentally ill can pay, they must
o       Innocent victim should not bear burden simply because the def. is insane
·        Exceptions:
o       May be necessary to prove insane person had actual knowledge of falsity of statement
o       An institutionalized patient can not be held liable for injury to employee taking care of patient
§         Assumption of risk
o       Intoxication is not a defense
–         Transferred Intent
o       When a def. intended to cause one tort, but commits another, a plaintiff may be able to invoke doctrine
§         Intent transfers from intended victim to actual victim
o       The doctrine can be applied to:
§         Same tort; different victim
§         Different tort; same victim
§         Different tort; d

·        Includes extension of the person (i.e. hat, cane, item holding, etc…)
o       Must be a harmful or offensive touching of extension
§         Extension may be a weak claim though
§         IIED may be better claim
o       Elements:
§         Voluntary act, with the
§         Intent to cause contact with another; OR
·        Intent to cause imminent apprehension of such contact, which results in
§         Harmful or offensive contact
o       Sufficient contact:
§         Actual contact between def. & plaintiff
§         Contact between object & plaintiff caused by def.
·        Ex. throwing a rock
·        Ex. Def. shoots plaintiff (bullet)
·        Ex. Def. puts drugs in drink
§         Contact between plaintiff & 3rd person caused by def.
·        Ex. def. pushes bystander into plaintiff