Tort Law

Vocabulary

appropriation

tort wherein the defendant uses the plaintiff's name or likeness for commercial gain without his or her permission

bailment

relationship that is created when a person delivers personal property to another person for a specific purpose, such as storage or repair, and no transfer of title occurs

consent

defense wherein the defendant asserts that the plaintiff voluntarily agreed to a particular act and cannot claim that it resulted in an intentional tort

conversion

intentional tort wherein the defendant intentionally and permanently removes the plaintiff's ability to possess and control their personal property

defamation

intentional publication to a third party of a false statement that harms the plaintiff's reputation

defense of others

defendant is entitled to use reasonable force against a reasonably perceived threat to prevent the immediate bodily harm of another

defense of property

defendant is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent damage or theft of goods, buildings, land, or other types of property

false light

defendant makes an offensive statement with reckless disregard and intentionally publishes statements that lead others to make false assumptions about the plaintiff

fraud

when a person deliberately deceives another person to obtain money or property and that other person is injured by the deception

gross negligence

defendant performs a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life and property of another; often shocks the conscience

injurious falsehood

false statements that disparage the plaintiff's business interests and cause the plaintiff economic loss

intentional infliction of emotional distress

action wherein the defendant acts outrageously with the intent of causing extreme emotional pain to another person

intentional tort

type of civil wrong considered to be done with purpose, wherein the defendant knew or should have known the plaintiff would be harmed as a result

misappropriation

use of an unsolicited idea without compensating the creator of the idea

misrepresentation

defendant makes a false statement with the intent of inducing reliance and the plaintiff believes the statement, reasonably relies on it, and is harmed

negligence

civil wrong in which the defendant owed a duty, breached that duty, and caused the plaintiff harm

personal property

all property, either tangible or intangible, that can be owned and moved, excluding real property, land, or buildings

public disclosure of private facts

privacy tort that happens when the defendant makes facts public about the plaintiff that the plaintiff is entitled to keep private

real property

land and everything attached to it that cannot be easily moved, such as buildings, crops, and mineral rights; not the same as personal property

Restatement of Torts

document from the American Law Institute that outlines common-law principles representing tort law in most jurisdictions in the United States

self-defense

action when the defendant was entitled to use reasonable force against a reasonably perceived threat to prevent immediate bodily harm

statute of frauds

requirement that certain types of contracts must be in writing in order to be valid

strict liability tort

civil wrong in which the defendant had a duty to ensure safety and that duty was breached, causing plaintiff injuries and damages to person or property. A party may be liable without proving negligence or fault.

tort

violation of rights of an identifiable individual or business that has been wronged intentionally or by negligence. Common torts include defamation, nuisance, conversion, and negligence.

tortious interference with contractual relations

action wherein the defendant knows of the contract and deliberately harms the contractual relationship between two other parties

tortious interference with prospective advantage

action wherein the defendant acts to harm the economic relationship between the plaintiff and at least one other party

trespass to chattels

intentional interference with the plaintiff's right of possession, causation, and damages related to the plaintiff's personal property

trespass to real property

action when the defendant intentionally enters the land of another or causes an object to be placed on the land without the landowner's permission

unfair competition

conduct by a business that is using some market advantage to cause injury or damages to either its consumers or competitors