April 17, 2013
Intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability
Explain the general differences between intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. Additionally, explain the elements of intentional torts and negligence and provide working examples to illustrate each.
1. Intentional torts are actions with the purpose or intention to injure another person or that person’s property. The person inflicting the harm is called a tortfeasor. Intentional torts require intent. The person who committed the tort must have intended to cause harm. The harm, however, does not require malice or ill will, just the knowledge that certain consequences would result from their acts. Most often, the consequences result in some type of harm. Intentional torts involve intentional acts, and carry a high degree of risk if injury, and usually a low degree of social benefit. The risk generally outweighs the benefit received; therefore, the duty not to intentionally injure someone or something is great. 2. Negligence is the failure of an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person to exercise due care, resulting in harm or injury to the plaintiff. Negligence torts do not require intent. Negligence is conduct that falls below the level necessary to protect others against unreasonable risks of harm. To determine if someone should be found liable for a negligence tort, a reasonable person standard is used. If the defendant's behavior is found to be less careful than behavior a reasonable person would exhibit, that defendant can be found liable for damages. 3. Strict (absolute) liability is the fact that liability is maintained despite any intent, recklessness, negligence, or any other kind of wrongfulness. A strict liability tort refers to situations where a party is liable for injuries no matter what precautions were taken. The tortfeasor will often be liable only for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of his or her act or omission. A tort is a civil wrong, other than the breach of a contract, for which the law provides a remedy, generally monetary damages. Tort law distinguishes these civil wrongs into two categories: intentional torts and negligent torts. An intentional tort is an injury designed to injure a person or that person’s property. Whereas, negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care in a situation that causes harm to someone or something. It is crucial to distinguish the differences between intentional torts and negligence. Intentional torts are those committed by an individual who is acting with a general or specific intent to create certain results that arise naturally as an effect of the action taken by the actor. Intention is the desire to bring about some result that the actor knows will occur because of their act. In contrast, a negligent tort is a wrong that has resulted because of an actor’s failure to adhere to the standard of care required by law under the particular circumstances of the case. The standard of care imposed by law varies depending on the act and the relationship between the actor and the victim of the tort. Negligent torts may have differing elements, there are four basic elements that one must prove to show that a negligent tort has occurred: duty, breach, causation, and resulting damages. The concept of duty may be imposed expressly or implicitly . ILLUSTRATING THE ELEMENTS OF INTENTIONAL TORTS
Assault – elements – (1) the tortfeasor attempts to make an unconsented harmful or offensive contact; (2) the victim is apprehensive for his/her physical safety, (3) the threat of contact is imminent. The tortfeasor walks up to the plaintiff with a crowbar, waiving it over the plaintiff’s head, and shouts “Your give me all your money or I will kill you!” The tortfeasor does not need to strike the plaintiff with the crowbar for...
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