FINAL EXAM OUTLINE
CHAPTER I: DEVELOPMENT OF LIABILITY BASED UPON FAULT
CHAPTER II: INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH PERSON OR PROPERTY
CHAPTER III: PRIVILEGES
CHAPTER IV: NEGLIGENCE
CHAPTER V: CAUSATION IN FACT
CHAPTER VI: PROXIMATE OR LEGAL CAUSE
DEFINITION & PURPOSES
Tort = a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, which the law provides a remedy.
5 Major Purposes:
(1) Prevent parties from “taking the law into their own hands” by providing a peaceful means for adjusting parties rights.
(2) Deter wrongful conduct.
(3) Encourage socially responsible behavior.
(4) Shifting Loss: Restore injured parties to original condition through compensation for injury.
(5) Vindicate individual rights of redress.
Best Tort Cases – Three Things
(2) Damages (must be injured or wronged)
(3) Can they pay? Are they insured?
3 Basis of Liability
(1) Intentional Conduct;
(2) Negligent conduct that creates unreasonable risk of causing harm;
(3) Conduct that is neither intentional or negligent but subjects actor to strict liability because of public policy.
(1) Writ of Trespass
Trespass = an act causing physical harm.
v Best example of strict liability
RULE – liability for any unlawful injury involving immediate force or violence.
v Does NOT require proof of damage.
Modern Equivalent: Intentional Torts
(2) Writ of Action on the Case
RULE – liability for any unlawful injury that was indirect.
v MUST prove actual damage.
Modern Equivalent: Negligence
INTENTIONAL TORTS (7)
Battery, Assault, False Imprisonment, IIED, Trespass to Land, Trespass to Chattels, Conversion
Overview of Intent
Intent = acting with purpose (specific intent) of or knowing with substantial certainty (general intent) of the consequences.
To have intentional tort liability, the Plaintiff must prove the following:
(1) Volitional Act by defendant;
(2) Intent; and
v It is the intent to act, NOT the intent to cause injury. [Case of Thorns, 1466] o Extends to both lawful and illegal acts that cause harm.
v Motive is irrelevant: Good faith and Mistake does NOT negate intent.
v Liability extends to minors and mentally incompetent persons
o D, five years old, pulls chair out from under P as she is sitting down. Even if D did not desire to cause her to fall to the ground, he was found to have the requisite intent necessary for battery liable since he knew with substantial certainty that his action would probably cause her to fall. [Garratt v. Daily, 1955] v Statute of Limitations for slander, assault, battery = 1 year usually.
v Desire to bring about a legally forbidden consequence. (i.e. I intent to punch you in the nose).
v Acting knowing that a legally forbidden consequence is virtually certain to result, even if you did not want that consequence to happen.
v Substantial degree of certainty standard.
v Intent to commit a tort against one person can be transferred to the other tort or to the injured person for purposes of holding the tortfeasor liable.
v Most court's say touching does not matter; there does not have to be direct contact BUT the contact does need to be set in motion.
v Does not have to be immediate.
v Intent to cause the contact is enough (not necessarily intent to cause the injury).
v Good faith mistake does NOT negate intent.
v Injured person does not have to be aware of the injury at the time.
v Could be beneficial, but still battery (i.e. doctor held liable for removing someone’s ear during the surgery without the consent of the patient).
v NO such thing as a negligent battery (battery is an intentional tort).
C. Other factors
v A person does NOT have to be conscious or know of the harmful/offensive act being committed against him. [
o i.e. insert unauthorized surgery being performed on unconscious patient case here]/
v Transferred intent applies.
o i.e. A defendant intends to commit assault but he actually ends up causing harmful or offensive contact to the plaintiff, and has therefore committed a battery instead.
o Defendant is liable for both direct and indirect contact. Thus, it is sufficient if he sets in motion a force that brings about harmful or offensive contact:
§ i.e. Bob intends to set a trap. He digs a hole in the road upon which Lulu is going to walk. Lulu falls in hole.
§ i.e. Bob strikes a glass door so that the breaking glass cuts Lulu.