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highlight2 - VI TORTS The law of torts provides recovery...

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VI. TORTS . The law of torts provides recovery for conduct which society, through the courts and legislatures, has defined as civil wrongs. Torts, such as intentional torts, can also consti- tute criminal conduct, for which prosecution will result. In a tort action, the injured party sues to recover compen- sation for the injury sustained as a result of defendant's wrong- ful conduct, with the primary purpose of tort law being to compensate the injured party and, in certain instances, to punish the conduct of the wrongdoer by the award of punitive damages. a. Intentional Torts . Intentional torts are perhaps the oldest torts and involve conduct which, in many instances, is also criminal conduct. The "intent" of an intentional tort does not necessarily require a hostile or evil motive, but rather, con- notes that the wrongdoer intends the consequence of his act, or the consequences are believed likely to occur. Therefore, intent still exists where "A" shoots a gun into a crowd and, instead of striking "B", strikes "C". The intent was to strike "B", but the likelihood of someone being injured was high, and therefore, there is sufficient intent. Infants and incompetents are gener- ally held liable for intentional torts. As with tort law gener- ally, new intentional torts are occasionally discovered. i. Intentional torts - person . These include: (1) Battery (offensive bodily conduct to a reasonable person). (2) Assault (objective reasonable apprehen- sion of fear of immediate bodily contact). (3) False imprisonment (intentional confine- ment by physical barrier or threat so person feels unfree to leave). (4) Emotional distress (a more recent inten- tional tort exceeding the bounds of acceptable conduct and considered outrageous, such as sexual or racial insults, horrible (practical) jokes, etc. Courts generally require proof of physical injury to limit fraudulent claims.) (5) Defamation ([1] false communication regarding a person's reputation, [2]
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communicated [3] without the defense of privilege - literary is liable, including t.v. and radio, whereas spoken is slander). (6) Invasion of privacy, with four distinct sub-torts, including: appropriation of name or likeness (Virginia has a statute); intru- sion upon seclusion; public disclosure of private facts; and false light. ii. Intentional torts - property . Well-estab- lished and old are intentional torts against property interests, such as: (1) Trespass (entering upon land or possess- ing a thing without permission). (2) Nuisance (a non-trespassory invasion interfering with the victim's use and enjoyment of the land). (3) Conversion (damage or a taking of per- sonal property, so award of the price is available, and the lesser trespass on personal property which is short of conver- sion, requiring less damages or deprivation). iii. Intentional torts - business and economic interests . These include: (1) Interference with contract relations (encouraging another to breach an existing contract; note: if contract is at will, plaintiff must also show additional inten- tional conduct, such as fraud, duress, etc.) (2) Disparagement (essentially, defamation
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