A funny word. In French (where it originated) a tort

means a "wrong".

But in the U.S. most people probably think it means a

chocolate cake with icing, when they think of it at all! A torte! But, alas, no.

Tort law is part of civil (noncriminal) law. It concerns lawsuits (not prosecutions). These suits arise from injuries (wrongs)

committed by one person, a group, or organization(s) against another or others.

Torts can be intentional or not. They can be purposeful or negligent.

Torts are divided into basic types: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Negligence Intentional harm to a person Intentional harm to tangible property Strict liability Nuisance Harm to economic interests Harm to intangible property interests

 Negligence includes car accidents, slip-and-

fall cases, malpractice, personal injury, and some product liability cases.
 Every tort has three elements:

A. The D owes a legal duty to the plaintiff (P). B. The D breaches that duty. C. The breach causes injury either as a direct result of the negligent act or somewhat more indirectly, but foreseeable; Legally, we say there is a proximate cause between the breach and the injury.

Terms IMP in NEGLIGENCE tort
 Reasonable conduct:

An important concept in tort law but, as you can imagine, hard for P and D to agree upon. Lawyers use the "reasonable person standard". What would a reasonable person do? *(ex- strangers)  Invitee: You have invited some one to your property. Its your duty to ensure his safety against latent defects in your property.#(ex-“For Employees only).

Contd …
 Licensee:

A person who comes onto your property with permission, but without invitation. Such a person has a right to be there but is there for his benefit, not yours: for example, a door-to-door salesman. Trespasser: Someone on your property without invitation or license; someone who commits a trespass on your property. Generally, you owe him less care than an invitee or licensee

 Assault:  The D intends to hurt or scare the P

and the P believes he is in danger of being hurt at that moment.
 If I point a gun at you and it scares

you, that's an assault, even if it turns out to be a toy gun.
 If I say, "Don't you ever do that again

or I'll kill you," that is not an assault: words alone don't do it. Here there is no immediate threat of harm.
 In an assault the D does not need to

touch the P.

 False imprisonment:

The D intends to keep the P from freely moving about in an area that the P can't leave. If I'm driving my car with you in it, and you want to get out, and I don't stop, that may be false imprisonment. An intentional tort. •Intentional mental distress: The D intentionally or recklessly causes P severe emotional distress. If I know you are petrified of snakes and I leave one in your desk, that may be grounds for a suit based on intentional infliction of emotional/mental distress.

 Trespass to land:

An intrusion by D onto P's land. No harm or intent needs to be proven. For example, if your neighbor builds a fence but it happens to sit on part of your property that’s a trespass, even if he did it unintentionally.  Conversion: An act that interferes with the owner's use of his property. Basically, it's the tort version of the crime of theft or destruction of property, which is serious enough so that the D should pay

 If injured, the P does not need to

prove any negligence on the D's part.
 With products he must prove

that the product was not safe for its intended use and that he was injured by it.
 The duty to warn is often

applied to potentially dangerous products.
 ex- cigarettes, Owning certain

types of animals, hazards and side effects of medications

 The D unreasonably interferes

with the P's enjoyment of his property.
 This is where the neighbor's

noisy parties come in! Or unsavory odors. Or flights overhead.
 Courts balance the type of area

you are in, the nature of the harm, and the social value/utility of that activity.
 Airplanes must fly but parties

can be quieter.

 Deceit:

Occurs if the D knowingly lies about an important fact that he intends to induce the P to rely on and which, in fact, the P does rely on. For example, right before trying to sell his house, the D patches over evidence of major water damage so that potential buyers can't see the damage.

Contd …
 Interference with contractual

relationships: The D intentionally interferes with an ongoing business relationship between the P and someone else (the third party).
 Intentional interference with

advantageous relations: The D interferes through tortious means (duress, fraud) where he had no business being in the first place. For example, the D fraudulently induces a change in a testator's will in which the P was to be a beneficiary.

 Defamation:

Occurs if D communicates information about P to others which is not truthful and hurts the P’s reputation.

•Malicious prosecution: If the P starts a criminal prosecution against the D without probable cause and with malice and the D wins, he may turn around and sue the P for malicious prosecution

 Invasion of privacy:  A wrongful intrusion into a

person's private life, whether by others or by the government.
 For example, such an invasion

may occur if unreasonable publicity is given to someone's private life.
 "It's not anyone else's business!"

If someone takes your name or uses your picture without permission, especially for commercial use, that may be such an invasion.

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