Torts Require Fault:
VanCamp v. McAfoos – principle consistent with Justice Approach.
· Today, the Law imposes liability on D when he wrongfully causes a harm.
· At Common Law: “strict liability” was the rule (anyone who acted directly could be held liable for any harm that resulted from his action, even if no fault on part of the actor, for indirect harm had to show fault)
I. Intentional Torts
· Compensatory: Pain and suffering, Lost wages, Medical bills, Replacement Costs/Dimunition in value of property, Psychological distress
· Punitive: allowed for Intentional Torts involving malice or wanton conduct
· Nominal ($1.00)
Physical Component of Battery or Assault + Mental Component of Battery or Assault = Tort associated with Physical Component
Physical component of B, A, FI, TL, TC + Mental Component of B, A, FI, TL, or TC = Will give you the Tort associated with Physical Comp (idea of transferred intent)
· An intentional un-consented to contact with another,
· Person liable for Battery when he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact, and when a harmful or offensive contact results (Snyder)
· R2d Torts §13 battery committed if…
o (a) acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the other person or third person, or an imminent apprehension of such contact, and
o (b) a harmful or offensive contact with other directly or indirectly results. (Cohen)
Elements: Physical Component (act itself) and Mental Component (intent to act)
1. Physical Component:
Offensive: disagreeable or nauseating or painful because of outrage to taste and sensibilities of or affronting insultingness (Leichtman)
– Objective Test: that which is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity (Snyder)
– Subjective Test: as whether it was reasonable that the Plaintiff was offended (Cohen)
· Reasonable Person Offended – Dr grabs nurse shoves her face into “surgery wound”, reasonable person would be offended, battery (Snyder v. Turk)
· P particularly Offended – P’s religion says no males touching, but nurse did, so she’s offended, Ct said offensive contact under the circumstances, battery – also shows that P doesn’t have to be aware at time that the act was offensive (it’s objective) (Cohen v. Smith)
· Intentionally blowing smoke – at someone, particulate matters making it “physical”, constitutes bodily or at least offensive contact (Leichtman v. WLW)
· No Actual Contact Needed – Intentionally snatch plate out of hand, an offensive invasion of person’s space, just like bodily contact would be (Fisher v. Carrousel)
· Instigating – One who’s present and encourages or incites battery by words can be equally liable as principal
2. Mental Component:
Intent:intention of bringing about harmful or offensive contact.
1. Intent to cause harmful contact, 2. Intent to cause offensive contact,
a) intent to cause contact, AND a) intent to cause contact AND
b) intent that the contact be harmful b) intent that contact is offensive.
In Dual Intent Jurisdiction: Majority/Restatement Approach (ex) White v. Muniz
· Must meet requirements of both (a) intent to contact and (b) thereby harm/offend
In Single Intent Jurisdiction: Minority Approach
· Must meet requirement of only (a) intent to contact
What does it mean to have “Intention of bringing about harmful/offensive contact”? Some Jurisdictions say it is either…
· Having Desire or Purpose to cause harm/offense, OR
· Merely Knowing with substantial certainty that an act will cause harm/offense – but not enough that actor simply realizes the risk, that would just be negligence
(Garret v. Dailey)
Note: Some Cts refuse to let Mere Knowledge meet the intent requirement and hold that Desire/Purpose must be there.
What if you intend Assault but Actual Harmful Contact results?
· R2d §16 If an act done with the intention of inflicting Offense (but not Harmful) Contact on another or creating apprehension of harmful or offensive contact, BUT such act causes Harmful Contact, then battery.
· Even if not done with the intention of actually causing Contact.
· Doctrine says that one who acts intending to cause offensive contact or creating the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact to a party, but then unexpectedly causes harmful contact to a 3rd party, is liable for battery to the 3rd party.
· Hall v. McBryde – shoots at passing car, stray bullet hits neighbor
1. Inter-Personal Trans
t the words were spoken (if person is nearby)
C. False Imprisonment:
· Action and Intention to confine another within the boundaries fixed by the actor, without lawful privilege and against consent for any appreciable time (however short) and where in addition the victim is either…
o aware/conscious of the confinement at the time, or
o sustains actual harm.
· Confinement: prevented from going about one’s daily functions
McCann v. Walmart- P’s falsely imprisoned by ee in back of store. Established by ee’s direction to them, reference to police, and continued presence in front of them. Such would induce reasonable people to believe ee’s would’ve physically restrained them if tried to leave or that store had lawful authority to keep them, or both.
1. Physical Component:
Must have confinement/restraint (which can be accomplished in 4 different ways)
· Physical Force/Barriers
· Assertion of lawful authority
· Implicit or Explicit Threats – kind that would restrain a reasonable person
· Duress – must ask if “duress” used would restrain a reasonable person
2. Mental Component:
Must have intention to restrain/confine the person (no intention to harm is needed)
What about False Imprisonment by Exclusion?
· Being excluded from an area is usually not False Imprisonment
· Can collect damages even if no harm resulted.
· However, if victim was not aware of being falsely imprisoned, must show harm.
D. Torts to Property:
1. Trespass to Land
· An invasion of someone’s right to possession (not ownership) – so Tenant may sue.
· Can be effected by either intentional personal entry upon land of another or causing an object such as a rock or car to enter or refusal to leave.
a) Physical Component: Must have entry upon land.