Torts are civil wrongs against persons or their property, not typically premised on contract, for which the law provides monetary and sometimes injunctive private remedies.
· Sources of Tort Law
o Primary: State Common Law (Aggregated Judicial Opinion)
o State and Federal Statutes, such as malpractice statutes, vaccine liability statutes and workers compensation statutes bear on tort liability.
o Constitutional law shapes parameters of some tort law: defamation and privacy torts subject to First Amendment limitations
· Goals of Tort Law
o Compensation and Correction
§ Payment of costs of injury
§ Moral repair, justice
§ As an economic goal, because injury is costly
§ As a moral and ethical goal, because persons are entitled to bodily integrity and dignity
§ Punishment for wrong doing
· Directions of Jurisprudence
o Positivism (backward-looking jurisprudence; adherence to established case law, statutes, constitutions, authorities)
o Realism (forward-looking jurisprudence; optimal economic or social policy)
o Natural Law (upward looking jurisprudence; adherence to right reason, ethical ideals, divine law)
o Inward and Downward-looking jurisprudence (appeal to personal preferences or public opinion)
· Inductive and Deductive reasoning
o Deductive Model- there is a rule
§ APPLY RULE
· ex. Rule- No false imprisonment without request of release.
· Facts- Techmiller did not ask to leave
· Therefore, she has no case
o Inductive model- induce rule from data from cases, then do deduction
§ FIND RULE
· Protecting the interest in bodily integrity, safety, and security
· Burden of Proof: Preponderance of the evidence
o Act-(not spasm or seizure)
o Intent (purposeful or known conduct)-either to contact or create fear of contact
§ Purpose or Knowledge with substantial certainty that a contact will occur
o Causation (must be direct or legal cause of the harmful or offensive contact)
o To cause Harmful or offensive contact Or reasonable apprehension thereof
§ Must be objective standard of contact- so hypersensitive victim cannot recover unless had prior knowledge of their prior hypersensitivity (Comes from Restatement §19)
o consent (not under fraud or duress)
§ ex. Playing professional sport
§ ex. parents can spank their children
o Garratt v. Dailey, 1955
§ Element: Intent. Battery determined by intent, which can be inferred if one knows that doing a particular action will result in harm, even if they bear the victim no ill will.
§ Facts: Δ moved chair in π’s house. Π fell and broke hip. Intention unknown
§ Rule: Battery is intentional infliction of a harmful bodily contact upon another and intent can be established by whether a person had knowledge that doing something would inflict bodily harm
§ Holding: Whether Δ had the knowledge that doing a specific action would result in harm is unclear. Sent back to lower court to see if he had knowledge she would sit. A child can be liable.
§ Policy: here the purpose of tort law was met in compensating for mental distress/humiliation, rather than physical injuries. Also had deterrent purpose and setting precedent
o Scott v. Shepard
§ Element: intent. Transferred intent.
§ Facts: Δ tossed squib into crowded fair, when others re-tossed it, seeking to minimize damage to themselves and others, it eventually exploded in π face
§ Rule: If the act is done with the intention of affecting a 3rd person …but puts another in apprehension of harmful or offensive contact, the actor is subject to liability to such other as much as if he had intended to harm him specifically.
§ Distinguished from Shaw because the purpose of smoking isn’t to hurt someone. Throwing a lighted firecracker into a crowd is to hurt someone.
o Shaw v. Brown & Williamson 1997
§ Element: Intent
§ Facts: π sues Δ cigarette
ear too because sitting right behind driver
§ Rule: Have to be able to form fear. Transferred intent works for assault.
· Protects the interest in free movement (no minimum time requirement)
o Intent (Purpose or Knowledge)
o Confinement in a fixed, bounded space
§ Confinement can’t be where P. merely assumes she is unable to leave, and D. does not use of physical force, Teichmiller v. Rogers
§ Can cause 3rd person to be confined- ex. Trying to kidnap baby, mother stays, she is also confined
o Awareness of confinement or other resultant harm
· Teichmiller v. Rogers Memorial Hospital, Inc. 1999
o Element: confinement in fixed, bounded space
o Facts: superiors kept nurse in a room to try to get her to sign exit requirements. She wanted to make a copy. They stood on either side of her. Door was open. Moved after 3 attempts. She never asked to leave.
o Holding: Not false imprisonment because never asked to leave, so speculation that she couldn’t leave. They moved after three attempts.
o Rule: Confinement can’t be where P. merely assumes she is unable to leave, and D. does not use of physical force
Trespass to land
· Protects physical property
· you don’t have to know that it is their land in civil cases. You just have to “break the close”
· Liability to another for trespass, irrespective of whether he thereby causes harm to and legally protected interest of the other if:
o Enters land of another or causes a third party to do so OR
o Remains on land OR
o Fails to remove from land a thing he is under duty to remove