Select Page

Villanova University School of Law
Moreland, Michael P.

FALL 2006
Torts Outline
            I.      Intentional Torts
A.   Battery
(a) Acts
–          The person must act meaning that a person taking your hand and hitting someone else isn’t acting. Furthermore a physical illness that causes you to hit someone uncontrollably is not an act
(b) Intending to cause harmful or offensive contact with another
                                                – What is contact?
Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Comm. – contact which is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity is an offensive attack.
            à Blowing smoke is an offensive contact
Guy in buffet line who had his plate ripped out of hands
Does not need to be flesh contact merely “offensive” contact
Herr v. Booten – Court says there was no harmful contact for giving someone alcohol.
– What constitutes intent?
1. Purpose (motive or desire)
Vosburg v. Putney – If the intended act was unlawful then the intention was unlawful. Intent to harm is not necessary; only intent to touch plus unlawfulness of the touch
à    Egg shell skull rule – defendant is liable for “all injuries resulting directly from the wrongful act, whether they could or could not have been foreseen by him.” 
à    Whilea person liable for battery pays for unintended consequences as well as intended consequences, there is a limit to the unintended consequences.
Benevolent motives do not negate an intention to cause a harmful Contact (Example: An uncle slapping nephew to teach him how to be tough)
Knowledge is not necessary. Example: Inept dart player throws dart at someone he does not like. If dart hits, liable because acted for purpose of causing contact. No substantial certainty but intent
Transferred Intent – if S throws a rock trying to hit L but actually hits M, the intent to batter L will transfer to the battery of M and S will be liable. (applies in assault too)
Doctrine of Mistake – if S punches L who he believes is M, S is still liable even though he never intended to punch L. The law places the risk of mistake on the person ta

who acts causes such contact
Herr v. Booten – Professor thinks the act of giving alcohol to a minor does not cause harm to a minor. The minor had an intervening cause of injury. One is not liable for battery simply by furnishing a competent person with a dangerous instrument that the person then uses to injure him- or herself because his act did not cause such contact
Even though contact takes place somewhat indirectly, actions that set in motion a force that resulted in harmful contact satisfies “cause”.
Third Person Liability – a person present who encourage or incites the battery by words can be equally liable as the actual batterer.
B.      Assault
                (a) A acts
      (b) Intending to cause P apprehension of an imminent harmful or   offensive contact
                        -What is considered imminent fear?