518-8Torts - CHAPTER EIGHT TORTS Introduction...

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CHAPTER EIGHT TORTS Introduction “Tort” is French for “wrong.” Tort law provides a remedy for an act that causes harm, both physical as well as property damage Society also recognizes an interest in personal privacy, family relations, reputation and dignity and tort law provides a remedy for invasion of these interests also Some torts provide a basis for both criminal prosecution and a tort action TYPES OF TORTS Intentional Torts Negligence (Unintentional torts) Strict Liability Liability without regard to fault Imposed by law Anyone who keeps wild animals is strictly liable for any harm that they cause INTENTIONAL TORTS An intentional tort requires the conscious intent to commit an act Either intends to harm or knows with substantial certainty that injury could result An evil or harmful motive is NOT required The law generally assumes that individuals intend the normal consequences of their actions The actual nature of the damage ultimately caused is irrelevant in determining intent Two Kinds of Intentional Torts Wrongs against a person and wrongs against property 1. Wrongs Against the Person Assault and/Or Battery Assault: Any intentional act that creates a reasonable apprehension or fear of immediate harmful or offensive contact Note: “Apprehension” is not the same as “fear” Battery: harmful or offensive intentional physical contact
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Any unpermitted, offensive contact, whether harmful or not, is a battery The apprehension may occur either before or after the physical contact Physical injury does not need to occur An unwelcome kiss, etc. False Imprisonment Intentional confinement or restraint without justification and the interference with the person’s ability to move about freely Physical barriers, physical restraints, or threats of physical force Essential requirement: the person restrained must resist They are under no duty to risk personal injury to escape Merchant protection legislation Reasonable cause for suspicion allows a merchant to restrain a suspected shop lifter for a reasonable time and using a reasonable method Infliction of Mental Distress Extreme and outrageous conduct resulting in severe emotional distress A creditor calling every hour during the night to collect a debt Invasion of Privacy Closely allied to infliction of mental distress Does not involve injury to a person’s property or character An invasion of the intangible right to be left alone 1. Two-way mirrors in a dressing room; 2. The Unauthorized Commercial use of a person’s picture; 3. Publishing information about a person on the Internet without permission; Defamation False and malicious statements about another person or business Slander: Spoken Libel: Written The publication of a statement that holds an individual or business up to contempt, ridicule or hatred The Publication Requirement – Communication
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The defamatory statements are made to, or within the hearing of, people other than the defamed party In the case of a writing, publication occurs when a third person reads a
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518-8Torts - CHAPTER EIGHT TORTS Introduction...

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