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Tort Law

Summary
Tort Law
Entitles you to sue for damages in a civil
court of law

It is a wrong which can be either
Intentional or Unintentional.

Intentional Tort
When a person deliberately causes harm
or loss to another person.

Examples: Battery; Trespassing;
Damaging a persons reputation; false
imprisonment.
Intent
Intent is the most important element of
Intentional Tort.

Intent is the true purpose of an act and
the persons hope and desire for a result
of an act.

Example: Jim punches Don in the nose;
harm is clearly intended.
Unintentional Tort
Anyone who carelessly injures a person, or
a persons property, should compensate
the victim for that injury.

Someone must actually be injured by the
careless conduct.
Negligence
Negligence is an important area of Tort
Law and has three characteristics:

1. Action is unintentional

2. Action is unplanned

3. Injury occurs as a result of the action
The Elements of Negligence
Duty of Care

In a Negligence suit, the plaintiff must show that the
defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.

When legal duty has been placed upon you, you have
a duty of care.

Your actions must not cause harm to people or their
property.
Examples of
Elements A Car A Store A Hospital A Law
Office
Plaintiff
is owed
a Duty of
Care
Duty to
avoid
accidents
Duty to
ensure
store is
safe
Duty to
provide
competent
treatment
Duty to
provide
competent
legal
service
Breach of Duty of Care
Defendant fails to meet the expected
standard of care of a reasonable person.

Reasonable Person an image of a
person who has neither physical, nor
developmental, disabilities and who
people agree is careful, thoughtful, and
considerate of other people in all dealings.
NEVER EXPECTED TO BE PERFECT!
Breach of Duty of Care contd
A person, or company, whose conduct
falls below the expected standard of care
is liable for the results of the negligence.
Minors and Duty of Care
Child cannot be judged by the standards of an adult
reasonable person.

No legislation that clearly outlines the tort liability of
minors

Children under 7yrs. seldom held liable for negligence

Duty of Care expected from reasonable children of a
similar age.

Minors involved in adult activities are expected to
meet the adult standards of care. E.g.: driving a car.
Foreseeability
Would a reasonable person in similar
circumstances have foreseen the injury to
the victim as a result of his/her actions?

If yes, fault and liability exists; if no, no
liability.
Foreseeability examples:
Element A Car A Store A Hospital A Law
Office
Defendant
breached
duty of
care
Drove
unsafely:
went
through
a red
light
Failed to
clean up
jam
spilled
on the
floor.
Amputated
the wrong
limb
Gave
faulty
legal
advice:
client
lost right
to sue
Causation
Once established that the defendant breached the
required standard of care, the plaintiff must prove
that the defendants negligent conduct caused the
plaintiffs harm.

Example: Ben failed to shovel the snow from his
sidewalk and Jennifer fell and broke her ankle this is
called causation, without it liability for negligence does
not exist.

The court must then decide how direct the connection
was between the action and injury.
Actual Harm or Loss
The plaintiff must prove that real harm
occurred because of the defendants
negligence.
Actual Harm or Loss examples:
Element A Car A Store A Hospital A Law
Office
Plaintiff
suffered,
resulting
in harm
or loss.
Plaintiff
and/or
plaintiffs
car,
suffered
damage
Plaintiff
slipped
on mess
and
broke
hip
Plaintiff
endured
unnecessary
pain and
suffering
Plaintiff
lost money
arising
from
potentially
successful
lawsuit