Week 4 - Monday September 18 I Torts against...

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Monday, September 18 I. Torts against Property (Intentional Torts cont’d...) – There are three different kinds of torts against property. These include trespass (of either real of personal property), conversion and nuisance. A. Trespass 1. Interfering with property of another: i. Sometimes these interferences also constitute a crime as well as a tort, but we will concentrate on civil litigation. 2. Can be either personal or real property 3. Personal Property- Ebay Case - another company sent robots into the Ebay system to redirect traffic to the company. Ebay alleges trespass; the robots trespassed Ebay’s personal property by slowing the speed of the servers. 4. Real Property- can involve actions other than a person physically going on someone’s land. i. A trespass could be something intangible such as noxious fumes emitted by one person or business affecting another person on their property B. Conversion - is the wrongful interference with the personal property of another- civil equivalent to theft. 1. Contrast it with personal property: i. Even though you had the right to take property through permission, not returning that property constitutes conversion. C. Nuisance 1. Use of real property that unreasonably interferes with that of others. Noise complaints would be a common example. 2. Public Nuisance i. Public nuisance involves large amounts of people. A large concert crowd that is rioting may be an example of public nuisance. 3. Private Nuisance i. Private nuisance involves small amounts of people. These are people that are immediately around you, such as a neighbor. II. Unintentional Torts - There are two types of unintentional torts that we will discuss: Negligence and Strict Liability. A. Elements of Negligence 1. Negligence occurs under three conditions: i. Existence of a Duty of Care a. Soldano v. O’Daniels , Case 8-1, text at 147- In this case, a person runs into a bar and announces a fight in the bar across the street. He asks the bartender to let him use the telephone that is in the public area of the bar to make a local telephone call to contact the police. The bartender says no and the victim in the fight across the street is killed. The person who had wanted to use the phone sues the bar, claiming the bartender owed a duty of care. The court says no Good Samaritan rules (which would obligate the bartender to intervene) apply. However, the evidence points to the ability to foresee a real threat, and
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the only burden was to allow the local phone call. Therefore, the court finds a duty of care owed by the bar. b. Huggins v. Citibank - Plaintiff Huggins brought a suit against various banks claiming that they negligently distributed credit cards to imposters performing identity theft. For negligence to attach however, a duty of care by the credit card issuers had to be owed to the plaintiffs. The Court sided with the credit card companies saying that no duty of care existed. The card issuers had no duty to prevent injury or loss (through stolen identities) from its customers and the foreseeability of such an event also did not constitute liability.
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  • Fall '07
  • GROSSMAN,D.

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