Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress Intentional act, using extreme and outrageous conduct, and the conduct must be the cause of severe emotional distress Employers are held liable for the torts of employees if the employees are acting “within the scope of their employment” at the time of the injury Negligence – Duty / Breach / Causation / Damages The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of due care The defendant breached that duty of due care The defendant’s breach proximately caused the injury The plaintiff suffered injury o Duty – we each owe a duty to every person who we can reasonably foresee might be injured by our carelessness Duty of Landowners Invitees: one got invited by the owner or occupier or who enters for the benefit of the owner or occupier
o May sue under the ordinary rules of negligence Licensees: one who has a right to come onto the property for self benefit, such as a salesman or a neighbor dropping in uninvited o May sue for hidden dangers they should have warned about and intentional torts Trespasser: one who enters the land with no right to do so o May sue only for intentional torts o Breach – occurs when the defendant fails to exercise the same care as a “reasonable person under similar circumstances” o Causation – plaintiff in a negligence action must demonstrate that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s alleged injuries Requirements 1. Factual Causation: “but for” the defendant’s act, the injuries would not have happened (or actions were a substantial factor) 2. Legal Causation: reasonable foreseeability of the resulting harm Independent Intervening Cause: a cause that emanates from a third party or source to disrupt the causal connection between the defendant’s careless act and the plaintiff’s injury o The key is foreseeability, if it can be reasonably foreseen by the defendant, it’s usually insufficient to break the chai o Damages / Injury – plaintiff must prove injury to person or property – some ability to recover for mental distress Punitive damages are generally not allowed for regular negligence
Defenses exist for negligence even if all four elements are proven Insurance o First call should be to insurance company o Will defend you, pay covered claims (within policy limits), help you take emotion out of it, keep businesses afloat, help avoid penalties INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Protects ideas by giving exclusive rights to creators Prohibits certain conduct (stealing an idea), which promotes competition and benefits society in the long run If CR held for too long, society pays more in the short run without long-term benefits o Trade Secrets Any type of knowledge that is not generally known and is not readily available through legal means, if the knowledge gives owner competitive advantage Can't have patent and trade secret Misappropriation: illegally taking someone else’s trade secret Exceptions 1.
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- Spring '08