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MT211_Chapter4_eBook - CHAPTER 4 Torts and Cyber Torts...

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The Basis of Tort Law Two notions serve as the basis of all torts: wrongs and compensation. Tort law is designed to compensate those who have suffered a loss or injury due to another person’s wrongful act. In a tort action, one person or group brings a personal suit against another person or group to obtain compensation (money damages ) or other relief for the harm suffered. T HE P URPOSE OF T ORT L AW Generally, the purpose of tort law is to provide remedies for the invasion of various protected interests. Society rec- ognizes an interest in personal physical safety, and tort law provides remedies for acts that cause physical injury or that interfere with physical security and freedom of movement. Society recognizes an interest in protecting real and personal property, and tort law provides reme- dies for acts that cause destruction or damage to property. Society also recognizes an interest in protecting certain intangible interests (such as personal privacy, family rela- tions, reputation, and dignity), and tort law provides remedies for invasion of these protected interests. C H A P T E R 4 Torts and Cyber Torts LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is a tort? What is the purpose of tort law? What are two basic categories of torts? What are the four elements of negligence? What is meant by strict liability? In what circumstances is strict liability applied? What is a cyber tort, and how are tort theories being applied in cyberspace? 5 4 3 2 1 T orts are wrongful actions. 1 Through tort law, soci- ety compensates those who have suffered injuries as a result of the wrongful conduct of others. Although some torts, such as assault and trespass, origi- nated in the English common law, the field of tort law continues to expand. As new ways to commit wrongs are discovered, such as the use of the Internet to commit wrongful acts, the courts are extending tort law to cover these wrongs. As you will see in later chapters of this book, many of the lawsuits brought by or against business firms are based on the tort theories discussed in this chapter. Some of the torts examined here can occur in any context, including the business environment. Others traditionally have been referred to as business torts, which are defined as wrongful interferences with the business rights of oth- ers. Included in business torts are such vague concepts as unfair competition and wrongfully interfering with the business relations of others. 76 1. The word tort is French for “wrong.”
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C LASSIFICATIONS OF T ORTS There are two broad classifications of torts: intentional torts and unintentional torts (torts involving negligence). The classification of a particular tort depends largely on how the tort occurs (intentionally or negligently) and the surrounding circumstances. In the following pages, you will read about these two classifications of torts.
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