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Torts Outline II

Torts Outline II - TORTS Stephen Hunt Jr 1CHAPTER ONE...

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T ORTS © Stephen Hunt, Jr. 1 CHAPTER ONE: INTENTIONAL TORTS BATTERY · Battery is an intentional act that causes a contact that is harmful or offensive . · Intent - D must act with intent. Intent = desire to cause the result of with the belief that the result was substantially certain (subjective test). Motive is immaterial, although malice may bring about punitive damages. Transferred intent doctrine makes D liable even if the particular harm of plaintiff is unexpected. Intent applies only to the act - you do not have to have intent to cause harm. · Act - must be volitional act. Unconscious acts are not volitional (epileptic seizures, asleep). Reflex action by a person in command of his senses is volitional (grab someone to keep from falling). Incompetent persons are capable of volitional acts. · Harmful contact - touching is harmful if it inflicts pain, injury, or impairment of the body. · Offensive contact - contact is offensive if it would offend a reasonable person’s sense of dignity. · Causation - see other notes. · Damages - see other notes. OTHER NOTES · The intent applies only to the act. You have to have intent to do the act, not intent to cause harm. If someone pushes you and you grab someone on the way down, this is an intentional act. The only acts that are not intentional are completely involuntary, such as a seizure. · You can cause battery with a car, a bomb, etc. You can cause battery by jerking something out of someone’s hand. · Consent to the act negates an element of battery. · Offensive contact - this is an objective standard; it must be offensive to the reasonable person. However, proceeding in the face of knowledge that the plaintiff does not consent to the touching can impose liability. · Causation - harm must be legally caused by the act. This is satisfied if the defendants conduct directly or indirectly results. Indirect = setting the acts in motion (throw a rock and cause an avalanche). · Damages - the tort is satisfied without actual damages; court will often award nominal damages. Compensatory damages = general or special. General = pain and suffering. Special = identifiable economic loss. Punitive damages may be awarded if the act was motivated by an intention to harm the plaintiff. Van camp v. McAfoos (1968) Intentional act P was walking down sidewalk and was struck by a 3 year old on a tricycle. P suffered injury to leg that required surgery. P’s petition stated the facts but did not allege D was willful or wrongful. Motion to dismiss granted by trial court. · Basically P stated that I was touched harmfully and this s/b battery. But the pleading did not infer intent such as “I moved and he swerved to hit me”. · Court was not ready to extend tort liability to a childish act. Had the complaint contained any facts showing intent, it probably would have been allowed.
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