Torts → Chapter II → Intentional Interference with Person or Property → 1.

Intent

Talmage v. Smith
Supreme Court of Michigan, 1894. 101 Mich. 370, 59 N.W. 656. Justice Montgomery Facts:

Smith (∆) discovered several boys playing on top of sheds on his property. ∆ demanded that they get down and most complied quickly, but Talmage (Π) and a few others remained on the roofs. ∆ threw a stick in the direction of a few boys on one of the roofs, but the stick missed those boys and struck and injured π. Π sued and recovered on a jury verdict. The jury was instructed that ∆ could be liable if he threw the stick with the intent to hit the first boy or Π and did so with force that was unreasonable under the circumstances. Whether the jury was properly instructed that ∆ could be liable if he intended to hit either boy and used unreasonable force? Yes. When a ∆ intends to inflict harmful or offensive contact upon one party but instead inflicts such contact upon another, he is liable for the resulting injury.

Procedural History:

Issue(s):

Holding(s) and Rules of Law
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Reasoning:

Disposition:

Affirmed, with costs. A ∆’s intent to cause physical contact with one party can be considered intent to commit battery against a second party when unreasonable force is used because the ∆ has no right to commit such an act.

Conclusion:

Questions/Comments: