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VI.Defensesa.Insanity Where an insane person does intentional damage to the person or property of another, he is liable for that damage in the same circumstances in which a normal person would be liableMcGuire v. Almy: p was employed to take care of mentally insane ∆. ∆, while locked in her room, had a violent attack. When π heard crashing of furniture, she called the maid. ∆ told π & maid if they enter room, she would kill them. As π approached ∆ & tried to take ∆’s hand which held the leg of a low-boy, ∆ struck π’s head w/ it & caused injuries. π sued for assault & battery.-Even tho person is insane, if has intent to touch then liable-Rejected argument that π consented/assumed risk as a matter of lawoRisk became “plain & obvious” after she entered the room, right before assault when an emergency sufficient to deny voluntary consent had already been createdPolicy: Insanity defenses in tort law do not matter as much compared to criminal law. In criminal law, the defendant may be imprisoned; however, in tort law the defendant would only have to pay for damages. There are situations where the insane person has the financial means to pay for damages. Tort law can also hold caretakers liable for the damages caused by the insane person. Tort law also allows for fairness to the plaintiff so they can recover for damages.6
Regarding Intent and Insanity: Insanity is about intent so the plaintiff has the burden of proof. This is part of the plaintiff's prima facie case. On the exam, address it in the intent element.(Professor Buccafuscco Office Hour response): IIED/False Imprisonment – require proof of intent of the outcome. Question of whether ∆ had the requisite mental state to intend an outcome. Only matters if something suggests they did not have the requisite mental states. Insanity is not a “thing” for torts outcomes! Polmatier v. Russ: ∆ took 2 y/o daughter to FIL house where he killed the FIL w/ a beer bottle & a rifle. Ct. said ∆ was unfit to stand crim trial but responsible for intentional tort b/c no evidence of reflexive, convulsive or epileptic acts. Although he couldn’t make rational choice, rational choice isn’t required since insane person may have intent to invade interests of another, even though reasons & motives for forming intention may be irrationalb.Self-DefenseCourvoisier v. Raymond: ∆ was sleeping in his bed on second floor & jewelry store was on first floor. A few men were trying to open door of store which woke ∆ up. In an effort to frighten parties, he chased them to a corner & fired a shot in the air. π was alarmed by first shot & proceeded to towards ∆, telling ∆ he was an officer & to stop shooting. When π approached ∆, ∆ shaded his eyes & fired, causing π gunshot wound.