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Intentional Tort By Dr. Tabrez Ahmad Associate Professor of Law KIIT Law School India

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Information about Intentional Tort By Dr. Tabrez Ahmad Associate Professor of Law KIIT Law...

Published on March 20, 2009

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Dr. Tabrez Ahmad Associate Professor of Law Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Nature of a Tort: Tort liability is imposed by law rather than voluntary assumed as is the case with contract liability. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Nature of a Tort:

Tort liability is imposed by law rather than voluntary assumed as is the case with contract liability.

When does a tort occur? There are 4 elements in a tort action: 1. A duty to one person Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

When does a tort occur?

There are 4 elements in a tort action:

1. A duty to one person

2. The breach of that duty (either by doing something or failing to do something) Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

2. The breach of that duty (either by doing something or failing to do something)

3. The breach must proximately cause the plaintiff’s injury 4. An injury to the plaintiff Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

3. The breach must proximately cause the plaintiff’s injury

4. An injury to the plaintiff

What is an intentional act? An act is intentional where the actor: 1. Intended the physical consequences of his/her act or Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

What is an intentional act?

An act is intentional where the actor:

1. Intended the physical consequences of his/her act or

2. Knew, or should have known, that those consequences were substantially certain to occur as a result of his/her conduct Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

2. Knew, or should have known, that those consequences were substantially certain to occur as a result of his/her conduct

Example: Bhaskar locks his shop at the end of the day. Unknown to Bhaskar, Kanad was in the restroom. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Example:

Bhaskar locks his shop at the end of the day. Unknown to Bhaskar, Kanad was in the restroom.

As a result, Kanad could not exit the store until Bhaskar returned the next day. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

As a result, Kanad could not exit the store until Bhaskar returned the next day.

Has Bhaskar Committed a false imprisonment? Why or why not? Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Has Bhaskar Committed a false imprisonment?

Why or why not?

Intentional Torts: 1. Battery 2. Assault 3. False Imprisonment Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Intentional Torts:

1. Battery

2. Assault

3. False Imprisonment

4. Infliction of Emotional Distress 5. Defamation 6. Invasion of Privacy 7. Trespass Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

4. Infliction of Emotional Distress

5. Defamation

6. Invasion of Privacy

7. Trespass

8. Nuisance 9. Trespass to Personal Property 10. Conversion 11. Interference with Contractual Rights Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

8. Nuisance

9. Trespass to Personal Property

10. Conversion

11. Interference with Contractual Rights

12. Disparagement 13. Fraudulent Misrepresentation Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

12. Disparagement

13. Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Battery: A battery occurs where the defendant has intentionally caused an offensive touching upon an item which is physically associated with the plaintiff. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Battery:

A battery occurs where the defendant has intentionally caused an offensive touching upon an item which is physically associated with the plaintiff.

Prima facie defined: “At first look” – a claim “good on the face of it” What does it mean? Why have such a requirement? Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Prima facie defined: “At first look” – a claim “good on the face of it”

What does it mean?

Why have such a requirement?

Moving party argues that the Complaint, assuming factual allegations to be true, fails to state a valid legal claim Facts extraneous to the Complaint are not considered – the motion focuses on “the four corners of the Complaint” Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Moving party argues that the Complaint, assuming factual allegations to be true, fails to state a valid legal claim

Facts extraneous to the Complaint are not considered – the motion focuses on “the four corners of the Complaint”

Van Camp v. McAfoos : Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim if it does not contain an allegation of fault – an allegation that the defendant acted either intentionally or negligently Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Van Camp v. McAfoos :

Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim if it does not contain an allegation of fault – an allegation that the defendant acted either intentionally or negligently

Literally asks the judge to “direct” the jury to render a verdict for the moving party -- comes after the plaintiff has produced all his evidence at trial -- moving party is arguing that the plaintiff has failed to prove the elements of any legal claim Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Literally asks the judge to “direct” the jury to render a verdict for the moving party

-- comes after the plaintiff has produced all his evidence at trial

-- moving party is arguing that the plaintiff has failed to prove the elements of any legal claim

Battery requires that the defendant act, “intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact,” and that “a harmful [or offensive] contact results.” -- Snyder v. Turk -- Cohen v. Smith Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Battery requires that the defendant act, “intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact,” and that “a harmful [or offensive] contact results.”

-- Snyder v. Turk

-- Cohen v. Smith

What counts as “contact” ? Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

What counts as “contact” ?

What damages are available for offensive (not physically harmful) battery? Must damages be proved with precision? Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

What damages are available for offensive (not physically harmful) battery?

Must damages be proved with precision?

1. Defendant must act volitionally 2. Defendant must intend to cause a harmful or offensive touching of the plaintiff 3. Contact with or touching of the plaintiff 4. Plaintiff must be either harmed or offended by the touching ( note causal link ) Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

1. Defendant must act volitionally

2. Defendant must intend to cause a harmful or offensive touching of the plaintiff

3. Contact with or touching of the plaintiff

4. Plaintiff must be either harmed or offended by the touching ( note causal link )

Either of the following: Acting with the purpose to achieve the invasive result, OR Acting with knowledge that the invasive result is substantially certain to occur Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Either of the following:

Acting with the purpose to achieve the invasive result,

OR

Acting with knowledge that the invasive result is substantially certain to occur

D intends to commit a tort on A But commits that tort on B instead. Can B sue D for that tort? But commits a different tort on A Can A sue D for the different tort? But commits a different tort on B instead. Can B sue D for the different tort? Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

D intends to commit a tort on A

But commits that tort on B instead.

Can B sue D for that tort?

But commits a different tort on A

Can A sue D for the different tort?

But commits a different tort on B instead.

Can B sue D for the different tort?

Children: May be held liable for intentional torts, as long as they form the requisite intent and the other elements are proved Parents: Are not liable for torts of their children, unless (1) the parents themselves are at fault and primarily liable, OR (2) a statute makes them liable. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Children: May be held liable for intentional torts, as long as they form the requisite intent and the other elements are proved

Parents: Are not liable for torts of their children, unless (1) the parents themselves are at fault and primarily liable, OR (2) a statute makes them liable.

Polmatier & White v. Muniz General rule : Mental infirmity is not a blanket defense. The issue is whether the defendant formed the required “intent.” Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Polmatier & White v. Muniz

General rule : Mental infirmity is not a blanket defense. The issue is whether the defendant formed the required “intent.”

Defendant must intend to touch the plaintiff AND must intend to harm or offend the plaintiff Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Defendant must intend to touch the plaintiff

AND

must intend to harm or offend the plaintiff

Examples: 1.Where the D deliberately poisons the plaintiff Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Examples:

1.Where the D

deliberately poisons the plaintiff

2.Where the D knocks a hat off the plaintiff’s head 3.Where the D shakes the car that the D knows the plaintiff is seated in. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

2.Where the D knocks a hat off the plaintiff’s

head

3.Where the D shakes the car that the D knows the plaintiff is seated in.

Assault: Occurs where the defendant intentionally cause the plaintiff to reasonably be in apprehension of an imminent, offensive touching. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Assault:

Occurs where the defendant intentionally cause the plaintiff to reasonably be in apprehension of an imminent, offensive touching.

False Imprisonment: Occurs when the defendant intentionally confines (either physically or by overcoming the plaintiff’s will) Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

False Imprisonment:

Occurs when the defendant intentionally confines (either physically or by overcoming the plaintiff’s will)

the plaintiff to a definable area from which there is no reasonably apparent means of escape . Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

the plaintiff to a definable area from which there is no reasonably apparent means of escape .

Example: Pleasure Inn Shopkeeper’s Privilege Arrest Privilege Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Example:

Pleasure Inn

Shopkeeper’s Privilege

Arrest Privilege

Defamation: Elements: 1. False Communication 2. Injury to the Reputation 3. Published Statement Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Defamation:

Elements:

1. False Communication

2. Injury to the Reputation

3. Published Statement

A defamatory statement is one which is false and lowers the person’s esteem in the community or subjects the person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

A defamatory statement is one which is false and lowers the person’s esteem in the community or subjects the person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.

Defamation (continued): Libel: When the defamatory statement is in written form. Slander: When the defamatory statement is oral Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Defamation (continued):

Libel: When the defamatory statement is in written form.

Slander: When the defamatory statement is oral

* The defamatory statement must be communicated to a third person or persons other than the one who is defamed. * Can not defame a dead person. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

* The defamatory statement must be communicated to a third person or persons other than the one who is defamed.

* Can not defame a dead person.

Defenses to defamation suits: Absolute Privilege Qualified Privilege Constitutional Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Defenses to defamation suits:

Absolute Privilege

Qualified Privilege

Constitutional

Invasion of Privacy: 1. Appropriation of Name or Likeness *Use of another’s name without consent *For benefit Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Invasion of Privacy:

1. Appropriation of Name or Likeness

*Use of another’s name without consent

*For benefit

2. Intrusion *Unreasonable and offensive interference with person’s seclusion Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

2. Intrusion

*Unreasonable and offensive interference with person’s seclusion

3. Public Disclosure of Private Facts * Publicity (communication to public peers) Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

3. Public Disclosure of Private Facts

* Publicity (communication to public peers)

* Of private information regarding an individual can be truthful Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

* Of private information regarding an individual can be truthful

4. False Light * Highly Offensive * Publicity * Placing another in false light Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

4. False Light

* Highly Offensive

* Publicity

* Placing another in false light

* The defendant publicly knew was untrue or acted in reckless disregard of truth * There is a difference between an accident and reckless disregard Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

* The defendant publicly knew was untrue or acted in reckless disregard of truth

* There is a difference between an accident and reckless disregard

Interference with Property Rights: Real Property Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Interference with Property Rights:

Real Property

Trespass: Intentionally enters or remains on property belonging to another or causes a thing or another to do so or Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Trespass:

Intentionally

enters or remains

on property belonging to another or

causes a thing or another to do so or

fails to remove something he has a duty to remove. Injury (damage) does not have to occur. Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

fails to remove something he has a duty to remove.

Injury (damage) does not have to occur.

Interference with Property Rights: Airspace Nuisance Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Interference with Property Rights:

Airspace

Nuisance

Personal Property: Intention dispossession or unauthorized use of other’s property Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Personal Property:

Intention

dispossession or

unauthorized use of other’s property

Liability: Dispossession Trespass to personal property Conversion Monday, June 8, 2009 Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,KLS, KIIT

Liability:

Dispossession

Trespass to personal property

Conversion

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