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Torts
University of South Carolina School of Law
Fox, Jacqueline R.

 
Torts Outline
Fox
Fall 2014
 
 
 
Tort – A civil wrong, other than breach in contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
 
I. Intentional Torts:
 
INTENT – Actor 1. Desires to cause consequences of his act, or 2. That he believes that the consequences are Substantially Certain to result from it. (not recklessness). 
·         Ex, Garatt v. Dailey – Kid moves chair out from under his aunt.  If kid knew it was substantially certain aunt would sit and fall where chair was intent for battery.
·         Spivey v. Battaglia- Battaglia gave Spivey an unsolicted hug, never expected to injure.  Not substantial certainty (unintentional, negligence instead)
 
TRANSFERRED INTENT- If tortfeaser has the intent to harm one person but instead harms another, he is liable for that harm to the 2nd person for any intentional tort that results.  Extends to intending to commit one tort but instead commits another.  (transfers from person to person and from tort to tort)
·         Intent can be transferred between Assault, Battery, False Imprisonment, Trespass to Chattels, and trespass to Land.  (NOT Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress or CONVERSION.)
 
Battery-
1.     Acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact or an imminent apprehension of such contact, and
2.     A harmful contact with the person directly or indirectly occurs.
·         Always unconsented and unprivileged.  Offensive contact when it would offend a reasonable sense of personal dignity.
·         If  contact was unintentional do Negligence analysis
·         Wallace v. Rosen Women standing on top of stairs during fire drill and teacher grabbed her and “pushed” her down the stairs.
·         Fisher v. Carousel- waiter grabbed plate from African American hotel guest. LOOK FOR ACCESSORIES (ex. Coats, ties, hats, etc.)
·         DEFENSES – Consent, Self Defense, Defense of others, Defense of property, Recovery of property.
ASSAULT-
Unlawful attempt to commit a battery. Must create an imminent apprehension of that contact. (Victim must see it coming.)
1.     Actor acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact OR
2.     Act with the intent to place plaintiff under imminent apprehension or such contact,
3.     AND the other is thereby put in such imminent apprehension (fearful expectation)
·         Intent to create imminent apprehension or intent to commit the battery.
·         Words won’t be enough.  Need an overt act.
·         Assault in the mind of the Plaintiff-normal person not extra-sensative (unless Defendant knows then Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress)
·         Western Union Telegraph Co. V. Hill – Guy reached for woman from behind counter and said “if you come back here I’ll fix your clock”
 
Can have Assault by itself and can have Battery by itself OR can have them both present in the same offense too!
 
FALSE IMPRISONMENT-
The Intentional infliction of confinement
1.     Intent to confine person within boundaries fixed by the defendant
2.     Victim is actually confined (no reasonable escape)
3.     Victim is conscious of confinement or harmed by it. (plaintiff must be aware)
·         Confinement can be very large area, physical barriers, physical force, threat of physical force, other duress, asserted legal authority
·         Must be no reasonable means of escape. 
·         Fear of losing job not enough for false imprisonment  Hardy v. LaBelle’s Distributing Co.
·         Can negligently false imprison someone.
·         False Arrest-Arrest that occurs without proper legal authority.
·         Shopkeeper priviledge- if merchant reasonably believes a person has stolen may detain for a reasonable amount of time.
·         Big Town Nursing Home v. Newman – Nephew takes old uncle to nursing home and “would not be forced to remain against will”.  Nursing Home won’t let him leave, tries to escape multiple times.  Finally escapes.
·         DEFENSES – Consent, Authority of Law, Discipline (parents), Justification.
 
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)
1.     Intentional or Reckless Conduct
2.     Extreme or outrageous conduct
3.     Causal connection between wrongful conduc

e is not an excuse. 
·         Court may require trover – return of damaged goods/property
·         Glidden v. Szybiak – Little girl goes to candy shop, plays with dog on front porch, pulls its ears and dog bites her face.  Defendant says not liable b/c girl trespassed the dog.  No damage to dog so no trespass to chattels
 
 
 
 
Conversion
1.     Intentional exercise of dominion of control
2.     Over a chattel that so seriously interferes with the right of another to control it that the actor must justly be required to pay the other the full value of the chattel, and aquire title to it.
·         No transferred intent
·         Court considers
1.     Extent and duration of actor’s exercise of dominion/control
2.     Actor’s intent to assert a right in fact inconsistent with the other’s right of contol
3.     The actor’s good faith
4.     Extent and duration of the resulting interference with the other’s right to control
5.     The harm done to the chattel
6.     The inconvenience and expense caused to the owner.
·         “Big Brother” to Trespass to Chattles.  Damages are whole value of the chattel (Forced Sale)
·          with trespass to chattel-damages is diminished value of chattel
·         Methods of conversion
1.     Acquiring Possession (stealing)
2.     Damaging or altering
3.     Using (serious violation of bailment)
4.     Disposing (bailee wrongly sells chattel)
5.     Misdelivering (mistakenly delivering to wrong person thus losing chattel)
6.     Refusing to Surrender
·         Bonafide purchaser/good faith purchaser is protected in buying converted goods
·         Defenses – Necessity, Consent, Authority of Law