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BLAW Chapter 7 Notes- Intentional Torts

BLAW Chapter 7 Notes- Intentional Torts

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12/17/2012

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Chapter 7: Intentional Torts
1.All forms of civil liability are either :a.Voluntarily assumed (by contract)
 
b.Involuntarily assumed (imposed by law)- Tort liability2.Tort law gives persons redress from civil wrongs or injuries to their person,property, and economic interests.a.Assault and battery, automobile accidents, professional malpractice,and products liability.b.The law of tort has 3 objectives:i.To compensate persons who sustained harm or loss resultingfrom another’s conduct.ii.To place the cost of that compensation only to those parties whoshould bear it.iii.To prevent future harms and losses.3.Tort is committed when:a.A duty owed by one person to anotherb.Is breachedc.Proximately causesd.Injury or damage to the owner of a legally protected interest.i.Injuries may be inflicted intentionally, negligently, or withoutfault (strict liability).e.Punitive or exemplary damages.4.Tort Reform focused on limiting liability by restricting damages or narrowingclaims.5.Intent does not require a hostile or evil motive; actor desires to cause theconsequences of his act or that he believes that those consequences aresubstantially certain to result from it.
 
a.Incompetents, like infants, are generally held liable for their intentionaltortsi.Infant’s age and knowledge are critical in determining whetherthe infant had sufficient knowledge to form the requisite intent.6.
Harm to the person
- primary interests protected by these torts are:a.Battery (Freedom from bodily contract)i.Intentional infliction of harmful or offensive bodily contract(causing serious injury or little or no physical injury)ii.Bodily contract is offensive if it would offend a reasonableperson’s dignity (joke/compliment)b.Assault (Freedom from apprehension)i.Intentional conduct by one person directed at another thatplaces the other in apprehension of imminent (immediate)bodily harm or offensive contract.ii.Damages for assault may include compensation for fright andhumiliation.iii.The person in danger of immediate bodily harm must haveknowledge of the danger and be apprehensive of its immediatethreat to his safety.c.False Imprisonment (Freedom from confinement)i.Intentional confining of a person against her will within fixedboundaries if the person is conscious of the confinement and isharmed by it.ii.May be brought by physical force, the threat of physical force(express and implied), physical barriers, or by force directedagainst the plaintiff’s property.iii.Damages include compensation for loss of time, physicaldiscomfort, inconvenience, physical illness, and mentalsuffering.d.Infliction of Emotional Distress (Freedom from Mental distress)
 
i.Recklessness is conduct that evidences a conscious disregard of or an indifference to the consequences of the act committed.ii.Courts impose liability for conduct exceeding all bounds usuallytolerated by society when such conduct intentionally orrecklessly causes serious mental distress.iii.Does not protect a person from abusive language or rudeness,but rather from atrocious, intolerable conduct beyond all boundsof decency.7.
Harm To The Right of Dignity
- (reputation, privacy, right to freedom fromunjustifiable ligitation)
Defamation
Defamation is a false communication that injures a person’sreputation by disgracing him and diminishing the respect in which heis held.
A false and defamatory statement concerning another
An unprivileged publication(communication)n to a third party
Depending on the status of the defendant, negligence orrecklessness on her part in knowing or failing to ascertain the falsityof the statement
Proof of special harm caused by the publication.
Defenses to Defamation
o
Privilege is the immunity from tort liability granted whenthe defendant’s conduct furthers a societal interest of greater importance than the injury inflicted upon theplaintiff.
o
Absolute Privilege protects the defendant regardless of his motive or intent (statements made by participants in judicial peoceedings, by Congress and by members of state and legislative bodies; by certain executive branchofficers, regarding a third party made between spouseswhen they are alone)
o
Qualified/ Conditional Privilege depends on the use of theprivilege (publish defamatory matter to protect his ownlegitimate interests/ another, letters of reference)
o
Constitutional Privilege- must prove that the defendantpublished the defamatory and false comment with malice

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