Torts Outline

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TORTS – INTENTIONAL TORTS

PRIMA FACIE

Battery is the (1) intentional infliction of (2) a harmful or offensive (3) contact. Offensive includes acts damaging to a “reasonable sense of dignity.” No knowledge of contact is required. (Rationale: protection of personal integrity. Freedom from intentional and unpermitted contact. Offensive harm included b/c of mental injuries).

▪ To have a claim of battery, there must be a claim of fault, negligence, or wrongdoing on the part of the party doing the touching. VanCamp v. McAfoos (a little boy rides his bike into a woman)

▪ Must act intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact and when a harmful or offensive contact results. Snyder v. Turk (the surgeon yells at a nurse and pulls her face near a surgical opening) and Cohen v. Smith (against the pregnant woman’s religion to be touched or seen naked by the male nurse)(supports tort objective of protecting personal integrity)

▪ Intent to cause harmful or offensive contact with another (or an imminent apprehension of such contact) and harmful or offensive contact with a third person directly or indirectly resuls. Hall v. McBryde (transferred intent rule: intent to cause battery or assault on one person can transfer if battery or assault on a 3rd person results) (defendant fired back at youths shooting towards his house and he hit his next door neighbor during the exchange)

▪ Actor must subjectively intend offensive or harmful consequences; he must appreciate the offensiveness of his conduct. White v. Muniz (insanity only makes it more difficult to prove the intent requirement, but is not a defense) (an Alzheimer’s patient strikes her caregiver in the face)

Assault is an (1) intentional act that creates (2) apprehension of an (3) imminent harmful or offensive contact. Apprehension requires more than words alone. Apprehension requires the D to be aware of the threatened contact. (Rationale: apprehension is a form of mental injury. Holding people liable for assault deters behavior that may lead to battery).

▪ One acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of another or an imminent apprehension of such contact. Cullison v. Medley(apprehension of harmful contact is reasonable if defendant has the present ability to carry out that contact)(defendant’s family intimidated plaintiff because he tried to go on a date with their daughter)

▪ An act intending to cause harmful or offensive contact creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent battery. Koffman v. Garnett (an apprehension of fear must exist before the harmful contact; this doesn’t exist if plaintiff has no prior warning of the contact) (a football coach threw student to the ground to demonstrate proper tackling technique.

Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress is (1) intentional (2) extreme and outrageous conduct (3) that causes severe mental distress. Intent includes, inter alia, reckless disregard that emotional distress will occur. Extreme and outrageous conduct is conduct “beyond all possible bounds of decency.” A D’s known sensitivity must be factored. Where such conduct is directed at a third person, a D is liable if he intentionally causes severe emotional distress (a) to a member of a person’s immediate family (b) who is present at the time and (c) who is known by the D to be present.

False Imprisonment is (1) intentionally (2) confining (3) another person within a limited area. Confining can be through threats, direct physical means, or assertion of legal authority. The person must be aware of confinement within a limited area.

▪ °One party serves to confine another within certain boundaries fixed by the actor and the victim is conscious of the confinement or harmed by it. McCann v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (a victim can either be kept by physical restraint or by duress/assertion of authority)(store employees backed patrons into a...
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