Plaintiff’s reputation was harmed o Defenses Statute of limitations Absolute privileges – for judicial and legislative proceedings Qualified privileges – e.g. those who act in public interest, employment references, credit reports, acts in good faith • Injurious falsehood o Disparagement of goods, slander of goods, and trade libel • False imprisonment o When persons are unlawfully confined or restrained without their consent o Elements Defendant confined or restrained plaintiff With intent Without plaintiff’s consent Thereby injuring plaintiff
o Defenses Legal authority Shopkeepers’ statutes – prevents recovery for false imprisonment when shopkeepers have probably cause for suspecting shoplifting and conduct the detention in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable time even if they were mistaken • Trespass o Elements: Affirmative conduct Intent Actual entry o Defenses 2 year statute of limitations Consent Legal right • Invasion of privacy o Intrusion – whenever defendant intrudes into area where plaintiff has reasonable expectation of privacy o Disclosure of embarrassing private facts Exception: newsworthiness o False light – defendant makes statements or does acts that place the plaintiff in a false light in the public eye o Appropriation of name or likeness (right of publicity) • Intentional infliction of mental distress o Elements Defendant must act intentionally or recklessly Defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous Defendant’s actions must be cause of plaintiff’s emotional distress Plaintiff’s emotional distress must be severe • Fraud – intentional misleading of one person by another which results in a loss to the deceived party • Conversion and Trespass to Personal Property o Conversion – invasions of personal property interests (e.g. stealing someone’s car) o Trespass to personal property – more minor invasions of personal property rights (e.g. hacking into someone’s computer) • Nuisance – used to compensate an intangible disruption of enjoyment of personal property (e.g. noise, smells, light, etc.) Special Problems • Employer liability – liable for torts of employees when they are acting within scope of their employment • Joint and several liability – each defendant may be held responsible for entire loss caused to the plaintiff Business Torts
• Intentional inference with business relationships – involves plaintiff and defendant who are competitors; plaintiff has contractual relationship with third party and plaintiff contends that defendant intentionally took actions that led third party to breach its contract with plaintiff o For existing contract, must prove: Existence of a binding contract subject to interference An intentional act of interference Proximate cause Actual damage or loss occurred o For no contract must prove: Reasonable probability that parties would have entered into a contractual relationship Intentional and malicious
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- Spring '08