Tort of Law .docx - Module 4a The law of tort Tort is(1...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 8 pages.

Module 4a)The law of tort - Tort is (1) behaviour (2) that constitutes the breach of a private lawlegal obligation, (3) usually resulting in some harm to another person or their propertyThe person who commits a tort is called a tortfeasorThe law of tort grew out of the criminal law and, thus, sometimes the same behaviour that constitutes a tort may also constitute a crime (e.g., hitting someone is both the tort of battery and a criminal offence)Types of torts Three types of torts have developed over the centuries, namely:1.Intentional torts2.Carelessness torts3.Strict liability tortsIntentional tortsOccur when a person intentionallyacts in certain waysMeaning of “intention” differs depending on the tort:Some require the intention to harm others (e.g., tort of inducing breach of K)Some require the intention to act a certain way (e.g., tort of battery when striking a person)Careless or negligence torts-Occurs when a person acts carelessly (e.g., negligent production of a defective good)Activity is permitted, but has been done in an inappropriate wayStrict liability tortsOccur when a person does something the law deems wrong without intending to do so or without acting carelesslyAn example is livestock escaping onto a roadway causing injury to the driver of a car who struck the livestock. The mere fact of owning the livestock and having it on the property is enough to trigger liability if the livestock escapes and causes injury to a third party regardless of carelessness or intentionRisk management for strict liability tortsStrict liability torts create special problems for legal risk management in businessLiability is imposed simply because the business is responsible for the creation of a situation that injured the victim. Thus, special precautions may reduce the risk of harm, but liability can never be fully avoided unless the business activity is endedDoctrine of privity not applicable in tort law-Since liability is imposed by law, and not by being in a special relationship (i.e., both parties to a K), those who can sue is not limited to those in a particular relationship with the tortfeasor
Risk management in tort lawBecause tort obligations are imposed by law and not created voluntarily like in contracts, businesses are more likely to be taken by surprise with tort liability than with contract liabilityDoctrine of vicarious liabilityWhen the common law or statute law holds one person legally responsible forthe misconduct of another person, even though the former person did nothing wrong (Yogis, (1983), p. 223)Rationales for imposing vicarious liability1.Enhances compensatory function of tort law by giving victim another source for compensationfunds2.Enhances deterrence function by encouraging person(s) held vicariously liable to in future take steps to reduce risk of harm to the public3.Fair by requiring businesses to bear costs caused by their profit making activitiesLegal relationships that give rise to vicarious liability

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture