ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS
The Penguin intentionally hits Batman with his umbrella. Batman, stunned by the blow, falls backwards, knocking Robin
down. Robin's leg is broken in the fall, and he cries out, “Holy broken bat bones! My leg is broken.” Who, if anyone, is
liable to Robin? Why?
The Penguin is liable to Robin for battery.
Section 13 of the Restatement imposes
liability if the actor (Penguin) intends to injure a third person (Batman) and causes injury (directly
or indirectly) to the person of the other (Robin). Batman is not liable because he did not act with
Moreover, as Section 14 states:
“To make the actor liable for a battery, the harmful bodily
contact must be caused by an act done by the person whose liability is in question.”
Thus, it is not
enough to make one liable that some third person has utilized a part of his body as an instrument by
which to carry out the third person’s intention to cause harm to another.
In such a case, the third
person is the actor.
CEO was convinced by his employee, M. Ploy, that a coworker, A. Cused, had been stealing money from the company. At
lunch that day in the company cafeteria, CEO discharges Cused from her employment, accuses her of stealing from the
company, searches through her purse over her objections, and finally forcibly escorts her to his office to await the arrival of
the police, which he has his secretary summon. Cused is indicted for embezzlement but subsequently is acquitted upon
establishing her innocence. What rights, if any, does Cused have against CEO?
Injury or Damage to the Person
CEO might be liable for slander if there was no basis for the
embezzlement accusation and there was a publication of the defamatory information to someone
else in the cafeteria.
By taking the employee’s purse, CEO committed a trespass to personal
property, an intentional dispossession or unauthorized use of another’s property.
an interference with the employee’s right to exclusive use and possession.
By searching the purse,
the CEO has committed the tort of intrusion.
Cused could also demonstrate that CEO’s physical
contact constituted a battery, which is the intentional infliction of harmful or offensive bodily
Cused did not consent to the touching.
An action might also lie for emotional distress
since the courts now grant recovery for mental anguish despite a lack of physical injury.
there may be false imprisonment if there was not a lawful restraint under local shoplifting law.
Finally, given the acquittal, a claim for malicious prosecution could be made if CEO filed the
charges without probable cause and for an improper purpose.