Torts Papandrea Fall 2015
What is a tort?
Torts are wrongdoings as recognized by law as grounds for a law suit
Harm is required
Torts protect against
Physical injury to a person or property
Dignity and emotional harm
Torts require fault
No liability without fault
Liability without fault
Were they substantially certain that they would put someone in reasonable fear of contact
Elements of Battery: Physical Tort- historically to protect honor- emphasize lack of consent to touching
(1) An act by defendant with
Requires Volition: voluntary contraction of muscles
Involuntary movements that do not satisfy the requirement include movements while unconscious, seizure, and reflexive movements
Insanity and infancy do not negate volition BUT could be relevant to determining intent.
(2) Intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact and
to cause contact for purpose of injuring or offending is sufficient- Doesn’t need to intend to injure
: If the defendant knows about sensitivity (unusual or otherwise) AND it is not unduly burdensome to avoid it then it’s intent- R3 rule- not accepted by all
D takes P as he finds him
D who has engaged in WRONGFUL conduct is responsible for all injuries [proximately] caused by that wrongful conduct.
Includes physical and mental harm, as well as economic injury
: Desiring to cause harm or offense is sufficient
: Intent sufficient if Defendant knows the act is substantially certain to produce harmful or offensive contact.
Good motive doesn’t matter.
ii. Must ask what the defendant knew (subjective test).
Transferred Intent: Intent to cause an intentional tort to one person that results in a tort to another is sufficient (and intent to cause one intentional tort that results in a different intentional tort is sufficient). Only person to person
(3) Harmful or offensive contact resulted
Contact: Defendant doesn’t need to make direct physical contact with Plaintiff.
Defendant may merely invade Plaintiff’s body space or use instrumentally under his control to do so
Contact with things intimately connected to Plaintiff will suffice.
Offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity
Objections must be objectively reasonable
“Social usages prevalent”
Injured person has the burden of proving liability for
Lost wages or earning capacity
Pain and suffering endured
Particular or special dama
ble invasion, intrusion, or entry onto land, AND
Rights in land extend underneath surface and reasonable height above ground
Historically requires TANGIBLE invasion
Can cause something else to enter land
(3) Entry harms P’s interest in exclusive possession
What kind of INTENT is needed?
Intent to enter land (or cause object to enter land)
Not intent to trespass
No knowledge of ownership required
If D unintentionally enters land but then intentionally remains, intent requirement is met.
Cost of repair
Diminution of value of premises
Loss of use of land
Emotion distress and annoyance
No foreseeability requirement
Nuisance: D’s acts substantially interfere with P’s use and enjoyment of her land
Often involves INTANGIBLE invasions
Smoke, dust, chemicals, smell, noise
Invasion must be UNREASONABLE
Consider time, place, social expectations of locale
Balance gravity of harm to P against social utility of D’s acts