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Torts
University of Toledo School of Law
Rapp, Geoffrey C.

Intentional Torts – everybody is liable for intentional torts!!
**P’s supersentivities are not taken into account, UNLESS D know of them
I.                   Battery
a.       Intent to cause (desire or substantial certainty)
i.            dual intent jurisdiction
1.      intent to contact and intent for the act to be harmful/offensive
2.      if D cannot understand the offensiveness of your contact, then D could escape liability
3.      **children judged according to their age in terms of whether they appreciated the “harmful or offensive” nature of the actions
a.       if single intent jurisdiction, then liable b/c all children are capable of intent
ii.            single intent jurisdiction
1.      only intent to contact
b.      a harmful or offensive
i.            harmful (subjective)
ii.            offensive (objective)
c.       contact
i.            direct or indirect
d.      P need not know
II.                Assault
a.       Intent to create (desire or substantial certainty)
b.      an apprehension (objective test)
i.            words alone are insufficient to create an apprehension
c.       of an imminent
d.      harmful or offensive contact
e.       P must know
III.             Transfer of Intent
a.       From assault to battery on one person (or vica versa)
b.      from one person to another (“intent follows the bullet”)
IV.             Defenses to Assault and Battery
a.       Consent (to the contact, not necessarily the harm)
i.            P must have knowingly and voluntarily given up right to be free from assault and/or battery
ii.            two types
1.      express consent
2.      implied
a.       objective test
iii.            cannot be fraudulently obtained or mistaken
iv.            cannot exceed consent- “rules of the game”
1.      mutual combat- force that is necessary and reasonably anticipated is consent
b.      Defense of Self and Others
i.            D can use force that is proportionate to:
1.      The interest the actor is protecting
2.      The injury or harm threatened by the other
ii.            can only use deadly force to prevent seriously bodily harm
1.      need to look at the nature of the harm
iii.            majority rule- no duty to retreat for non-deadly force
iv.            minority rule- if no deadly force, then D has to leave
c.       Defense of Land and personal property
i.            D cannot use threatening of death or serious bodily harm as defense
ii.            can use reasonable force if:
1.      ask the P to leave, but he won’t or D reasonably believes that would be useless, or substantial harm will be done before it can be made
2.      D reasonably believes his force will prevent the intrusion
3.      The intrusion is not privileged
V.                False imprisonment
a.      elements
i.            Intent
ii.            Confinement/restraint
1.      No minimum amount of time
iii.            Bounded area
1.      bounded in 4 directions, but can be large area
iv.            Victim is aware of confinement
b.      Defense to False imprisonment
i.            Lawful authority- immunity
ii.            Self defense or defense of others
VI.             Intentional infliction of emotional distress
a.       Elements
i.            Extreme or outrageous conduct
1.      Conduct beyond all bounds of decency- make an average person say “outrageous”!!!
ii.            Intent or reckless as to the harm
iii.            Severe emotional distress
1.      At common law had to show physical harm, but now extreme psychological harm is enough
a.       Split on expert witness requirement
b.      Defenses
i.            Constitutional limits (free/speech)
Trespass
VII.          Trespass to Land (intentional tort)
a.       Protects P’s interest in surface land, earth, and other materials above and below the earth’s surface
b.      Elements to trespass to land
i.            Act of entry
1.      D enters P’s land or causes thing/3rd person to enter
2.      D remains on P’s land
3.      D fails to remove something he has a duty to remove
ii.            Intent (action with desire to or substantial certainty that the act will occur)
1.      intent to do the act (to go on the land)- no intent to trespass required
2.      need not appreciate that you’ve engaged in trespass
a.       still liable for accidental trespass (Thomas v. Harrah) b/c there’s intent to go onto the property
iii.            NO element of damages for trespass
c.       Recover of damages
i.            Nominal damages
1.      for interference with P’s land (just have to show D was on land)
ii.            compensatory damages (Baker v. Shymkiv)
1.      trespasser is liable for ALL the consequences of their act, whether or not they are foreseeable (ex: heart attack)
VIII.       Conversion- requires D to pay for the FULL value of the chattel of tangible physical property that can be moved
a.       Elements
i.            Intentional exercise (intent to do the act, not the same as intent to harm)
ii.            Of dominion or control
iii.            Over the chattels of another
iv.            That seriously interferes with another’s rights
b.      When is something serious enough to constitute a conversion? (factors to consider)
i.            Extent and duration of the exercise of dominion or control
ii.            Intent to assert a right that is inconsistent with the owner’s right of control
iii.            Actor’s good faith
iv.            Extent and duration of the resulting interference with the other’s right of control
v.            Harm done to the chattel
vi.            Inconvenience and expense caused to the owner of the chattel
c.       Damages for a conversion
i.            Full price of the property
1.      fixed damages for totally destroyed chattel at market value on the date of conversion, plus interest to date of judgment
ii.            Nonconventional Damages
1.      whatever measure of damages appropriat

                            iv.      Lack of chastity of a woman
iv.            If not slander or slander per se, then determine the distinction btwn libel per se and libel per quad
1.      libel per se
a.      defamatory without reference to other facts
b.      doesn’t have to fall into the four categories for slander per se
2.      libel per quod
a.      statement alone doesn’t defame, but in connection with other things it does (giving birth hypo)
i.      have to show evidence of a libelous innuendo or extrinsic evidence that would show such statement in connection with other circumstances would deter the community away from P
b.      special damages required
3.      minimal majority view- NO distinction between libel per se and libel per quod- NO SPECIAL DAMAGES to recover under libel
a.      it’s always there in print
XII.          Common Law Defenses to Defamation
a.      Substantial Truth
i.            Make statement about someone and if it is essentially the truth, even though damaging or insulting, then not defamation
ii.            This is a ? of fact (goes to jury)
iii.            Distinguish btwn fact and opinion
b.      Privilege
i.            Absolute privilege
1.      government proceedings, legislative communications
2.      ex: allows defense lawyer to defame a witness to protect his accursed client
ii.            qualified privilege
1.      when social value to the communication (news)
a.      ex: employment references- if people could sue for defamation, then nobody would write them
2.      D loses the privilege if he acts recklessly or intentionally
iii.             


Unintentional Torts
XIII.       Recklessness
a.       Elements
i.            Intentional, knowingly, or unreasonably (aware of the reasonable danger)
ii.            Disregarding
iii.            Substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm
b.      Very high probability of harm and very high magnitude of injury
c.       When disallow recover for negligence, but allow for recklessness?
i.            Governments may not be immune from it (but they are from negligence)
ii.            Sports cases
1.      no liability for spectator or participant injuries absent recklessness or intentional misconduct (applies to every state but Wisconsin)
2.      policy- want to encourage sports participation
iii.            sex (must be aware of the reasonable danger)
1.      b/c of the impossibility of defining reasonable sex

XIV.       Negligence
a.       Duty
b.      Breach