Lecture Notes – Session 4 - Torts TORTS Tort Law Tort (very broad area of law) Latin word for “tortus” meaning a wrong A wrong committed by one person to another Interference with a persons ○ Property ○ Person ○ Reputation Can be intentional or unintentional Development of Tort Law Criminal Many torts became crimes over time Distinction Between criminal and tort law A tort and crime can arise from the same incident Criminal is public (crown brings the action) Public wrongs or wrongs against society Tort law is private (injured party brings the action in civil court) Private wrongs or wrongs against the individual Business Aspect Affects business Product liability (product tampering prevention) Trespass (after shoplifting incident) General liability (slip and fall) Contract law – relationship created by contract
Tort law – broader application, may be a stranger Interference with Person Intentional (Willful interference) Types Assault Battery False imprisonment Assault and Battery Assault and Battery Each is a separate tort Assault A threat of violence or injury to a person Battery The unlawful touching or striking of another person Not every application of force is a battery in law Applied with the intention of causing harm If it does not cause harm, it must be done without consent or in anger Assault / Battery Assault and Battery Damages To compensate victim for injuries Punitive damages awarded in situations of vicious and unprovoked attacks Defenses Provocation Only taken into account in determining damages Self Defense Can be a complete defense if establish defendant had a genuine fear and forced used was reasonable in circumstances
Vicarious Liability Defined Employer is liable for the actions of an employee for acts during the course of employment Employer liable only for civil consequences not criminal Unless directed or authorized the act complained of False Imprisonment Definition Unlawful restraint or confinement of the individual by a person Most common in security personnel situations Need not require actual physical restraint May restrain if a crime was committed Peace officers may mistakenly restrain, under reasonable suspicion or for related questioning (investigation) If not a peace officer, individual must have reasonable and probable grounds to restrain False Imprisonment: Example Defamation Definition False statements that injure a person’s reputation Libel – (printed or published) permanent form such as writing or a cartoon ○ Applies to the internet today Slander – (spoken) statements or gestures Defamation Defenses Truth As to the statements made Absolute privilege Protects the speaker whether statements are true or false or even made maliciously
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- Spring '10
- person, assault, volenti non fit, non fit injuria