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BUSA+Torts - Torts and Cyber Privacy Chapter 6 TORTS AND...

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Torts and Cyber Privacy Chapter 6 TORTS AND CYBER PRIVACY Who can I sue for hurting me? I. Overview The word tort is not readily familiar to students who have not yet studied law. Like so many words of art found in the law, it has a special meaning derived from an essentially simple principle. The word is literally derived from the French word for wrong. That French term, in turn, is derived from the Latin phrase torguere meaning to twist, or tortus meaning to be twisted or wrested aside. When we consider that the odds are high that sooner or later we may be twisted by an auto accident, job-related injury, or some similar event, the term starts to make sense. Injuries of all sorts are an unfortunate fact of life. What makes those injuries actionable, i.e., where a court will recognize legal grounds for bringing a lawsuit, is when someone may have committed a noncontractual wrong for which a court, after appropriate proceedings, may grant a remedy. In other words, sometimes when we get twisted, the law provides an opportunity to correct the situation if the twist is found to be wrongful. Tort law structure is divided into three main classifications: 1. Intentional torts. 2. Unintentional torts (negligence). 3. Strict liability. Of these three, the first categories, intentional torts, are the most readily identifiable because they are very often concurrently classified as crimes. A crime is generally defined as an act in violation of a local or national penal statute. The remedy for crimes is sought by governmental authorities on behalf of the victim for all of us because the act is classified as an act against the common welfare of society. The civil remedy for the same act is an action for intentional tort. This lawsuit is brought by the victim directly against the perpetrator of the intentional tort. Damages are paid directly to the victim after proper proceedings are held. The major classifications of intentional torts are acts against the person, and acts against property. Acts against persons include assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, slander, libel, and abuse of the legal process. One recent example of the abuse of legal process was found in Colorado where a group of tax protesters filed liens on the personal assets of government employees as a way to object to government tax collection procedures. An example of an act against property would be intentional trespass upon someone else's land. The second category, unintentional or negligence torts, is both far more prevalent and more difficult to clearly identify. The first thing to remember is that responsibility can be imposed regardless of intent. This is a consequence-oriented result in the law as compared to the intent-oriented result discussed in the law of intentional torts.
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