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Villanova University School of Law
Wertheimer, Ellen

Theory of Liability
1. No man may be excused of a tort unless he is without fault
-accident is no excuse
-(e.g. Weaver v. Ward, D pulled the trigger and did not intend to hit P but is responsible nonetheless; injury occurred, who caused it must be liable unless he is of NO fault
-When D is acting reasonable and non-negligent, liability cannot be imposed
-no liability with two innocent (non-negligent) parties
-(Hammontree v. Jenner driver with seizure hits P in store, did not know seizure was risk so no liability)
2. Strict Liability
-With two innocent parties, only balance can be when one causing accident has to pay for cost of their abnormally dangerous activity; D has to weight cost/benefit of action
-Langan v. Valicopters, Inc D had to pay for damage done by aerial spraying b/c activity was dangerous even if no intention
-P needed to prove:
1. they had organic farm
2. farm was sprayed by pesticides by D (cause)
3. farm was damaged by pestiticide (injury)
Standard of Care (negligence)
-When there is accident and D is acting with ordinary care, reasonable person (standard of care), burden of proof is on P; no evidence, P loses
-(Brown v. Kendall hit by stick in dog fight)
-If tort is intentional then the standard of care is different
To prove intent, it must be shown that actor had knowledge of act’s consequences (consequence would occur or purpose of act is consequence)
-Garratt v. Daly (boy pulls chair out from sitter, ct. rules it must be shown that boy knew fall would result)
conduct, even if it causes harm, is mitigated by environment (crowded world scenario) where individual should expect some contact
-Wallace v. Rosen (teacher not guilty of battery because contact was b/c of fire drill)
-Required Intent:
Intent required is the intent to do unlawful act (e.g. unconsented to contact)
-D is liable for all consequences of intentional tort, foreseeable or not
-Vosburg v. Putney: boy kicks other’s shin, serious injury, ct. finds him liable b/c initial act was intended to harm (invade other’s interest) even though no intent to injure
-Transferred Intent:
Liable for injury to mistake victim just as you would be if act done to intended victim
-Keel v. Hainline: eraser thrown hits other by mistake, D still responsible for injuries as he intended to make unlawful contact
You can never consent to illegal act (unlawful contact), but you can consent to legal act and actor will not be liable then
To be liable for battery the defendant must have done some intentional act intended to cause an unconsented to contact
-unlawful contact done without consent is battery
-Mink v. University of Chicago: administration of DES drug was unlawful contact done without consent and therefore was battery
-Type of contact required:
Contact does not have to be to person
-Intentional, unconsented to physical contact done in an offensive manner of anything connected to person’s body constitutes battery
­-Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc.: D removing plate from P’s hand in offensive manner = battery
-Joking/Mistake Contact
Horseplay act causing contact deemed offensive is a battery even if it is a joke; act being stupid no defense; battery unintended to cause harm is still battery
-unconsented to contact à D responsible for all resulting injuries
-Lambertson v. United States: D as joke jumps on P’s back pushing him into meat hook à battery
Intentional act intended to and causing reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact with person
-fear not necessary, just awareness
-for writing to qualify it has to be present with an act or circumstance constituting assault
-Conley v. Doe: student writes h

pany of Colorad v. Van Wyk
-Definition: Nuisance is an indirect intrusion onto another’s property affecting the interest in use and enjoyment of property; no substantial damage or it is trespass
-e.g. if polluting substance causes P cdiscomfort in use of property, it is nuisance; if it does that and causes substantial damage it is trespass
66 JH Borland v. Sanders Lead
Trespass to Chattels
-Definition: intentional trespass intended to cause disruption of enjoyment of P’s movable property (anything not real estate); concerned only with damage to property
-e.g. Logging company case where P’s protested and shut down equipment causing disturbance of use
-How is it different from conversion?
-conversion causes irreversible damage; can’t get back converted property
-remedy for conversion is full price replace, for tres. to chattels it is compensatory
71 Huffman & Wright Logging Co. v. Ware
-Definition: intentional exercise of control over chattel resulting in destruction or material alteration and so severely interfering with possessor’s right that D required to pay full value as remedy
-e.g. taking my fish and eating it (doesn’t matter if you’re public official, btw)
-dissemination of information (removing, copying, dispersing then returning documents, e.g.) not conversion unless it is property or valued on open market
-e.g. newspaper copying senator’s documents then returning; not conversion b/c not senator’s property; just because dissemination hurt senator /= conversion.