Glannon_Torts - The Law of Torts Prima Facie Case the basic...

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The Law of Torts Prima Facie Case – the basic facts establishing the defendant’s conduct fits the elements of the tort for which the plaintiff seeks damages. Intentional Torts I. Chapter 1: Battery A. Definition – intentional infliction of a harmful or offensive contact with the person of plaintiff. B. Intent – to commit a battery the defendant must not only voluntarily ngintend to act; she must act for the purpose of inflicting a harmful offensive contact on the plaintiff, OR realize that such a contact is substantially certain to result. a. Purpose - to confine intentional tort liability to cases in which the defendant acts with a higher level of culpability than mere carelessness: where she acts with a purpose, or with knowledge that the act will cause harmful or offensive contact to the victim. b. Transferred Intent – where the actor tries to batter one person and actually causes a harmful or offensive contact to another, she will be liable to the actual victim. This “fiction” allows recovery where the actor attempts one intentional tort but causes another (intent for battery suffices for assault, and vice-versa). C. Contact must be harmful or offensive – bodily harm is any physical impairment of the condition of another’s body, or physical pain or illness. Even if touch is not harmful, it is tortious if it is offensive , that is, offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity . (This standard varies greatly with the circumstances.) One does not have to directly touch another either – it may be an indirect touch, or a touch to objects intimately associated with plaintiff’s body. a. Difference between contacts and consequences – while an actor must intend the consequences of his act, this does not have to mean that he had to have intended the injuries resulting from it. As soon as the defendant acts to cause a contact , the battery is complete , and defendant is held liable for all the consequences of that battery, regardless of the extent or if it was foreseeable. *The rule that a defendant who commits an intentional tort is liable for all the resulting harm does not apply in negligence cases; there it is limited to the foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s act. b. The requirement that the touch offend a reasonable sense of personal dignity allows actors to make contacts with others that the ordinary person will not find offensive, without fear of a suit for battery. This places the burden on the party with unusual sensibilities to inform other of their hypersensitivity; until he does, others are protected. Conversely, where an actor knows that another accepts contacts that others would find offensive (two guys who routinely engage in horseplay), his actual knowledge would protect him, despite the objective standard usually applied. D. Always
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Glannon_Torts - The Law of Torts Prima Facie Case the basic...

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