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Chapter%2010 - Chapter 10 Torts Legal Wrongs and Their...

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Chapter 10: Torts: Legal Wrongs and Their Remedies David Baumer, Spring 2003
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Classification of Torts A tort is a non-contractual interaction in which the defendant wrongfully harms the plaintiff Torts could be intentional --def. knew or should have known his actions would harm the pl. due to negligence or lack of reasonable care evaluated under a strict liability standard--for certain dangerous activities defs. are liable w/o fault for the harm they cause Punitive damages are only recoverable if the tort is intentional or nearly so Def. must have had a reckless disregard for safety--driving school kids while utterly drunk
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Damages in Tort Cases Compensatory damages Theory is to compensate the def. for his or her losses Economic losses --present value of lost future income and FMV of property Pls. can recover for pain and suffering , mental anguish and depression Impossible to fully compensate wrongful death pls. but theory often used is to replace income to survivors Punitive Damages Theory is to punish def. and deter others from doing the same thing
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Intentional Torts: Assault, Battery and False Imprisonment Def. is liable for an intentional tort if the injury suffered by the pl. was not intended Def. is liable for wrongful death even though he may have been aiming to maim the pl. Assault and battery often occur together, but not always Assault occurs when intentional actions of the def. place the pl. in apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact Battery takes place when the def. intentionally contacts the pl. in a harmful or offensive manner without justification
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Intentional Torts: Assault, Battery and False Imprisonment False imprisonment occurs when the def., without justification, intentionally confines the pl. within boundaries set by the def. Defenses In the past companies have been able to escape liability for intentional torts of employees by claiming that such actions were not authorized Employers have been found liable if at the time of intentional torts, the employee was working on the job and advancing the interests of the employer Employers are more likely liable if at the time of the tort they had prior notice that this employee was aggressive
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Intentional Torts: Defenses Employers are liable for intentional torts if they aid and abet these employees Employers can be liable if they were negligent in hiring E.g., failure to get background checks on camp counselors who then molest some children Other defenses-- For assault and battery defs. are allowed to use reasonable force under the circumstances to defend themselves, their property and others who are attacked For most batteries in sports contests the def. can use consent by the pl . as a defense
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Intentional Torts: Defenses Shopkeepers are often defs. in false imprisonment suits The shopkeeper, or its security, mistakenly detains a suspected shoplifter Most states have passed statutes that
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