Prof Lindsey Appiah
November 18, 2012
Define a Tort
A tort is a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which courts provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages (Schubert, 2012). The difference between a crime and a tort is the government’s involvement. A law will be passed by government to prohibit certain acts, making those acts a crime. Those who break the law may be punished by the government for the crime(s) they commit. Torts are private actions where the government is not directly involved. Torts are handled in a civil court and are usually broken down into the following categories: intentional torts, negligence and strict liability.
Torts can be intentional and unintentional. The most common unintentional tort is negligence (Best/Barnes, 2010). People have a duty to conform to a specific standard of conduct for the protection of others from unreasonable risk or harm. Someone who is injured as a result of another’s failure to conform to those standards have a case for negligence. Negligence is the unintentional failure to live up to the community’s ideal of reasonable care or the failure to act as a reasonable person would (Schubert, 2012).
In dealing with product liability suits, it is sometimes difficult to prove that actions or failures to, of the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury. Thus, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur was developed by the courts. It stands for “the thing speaks for itself”. It makes business owners more conscience about aspects of their business regarding their product design, manufacturing, quality control, packaging and warnings/labels (Schubert, 2012).
Elements to Prove Negligence There are several elements required for the cause of action regarding the tort of negligence. A plaintiff seeking such legal action must prove the defendant (1) owed the plaintiff a duty to act in a certain way, the defendant (2)
Cited: Best/Barnes (2010). Basic Tort Law, Third Edition. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers. Goldman/Cheeseman (2011). The Paralegal Professional. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Learning Solutions Johnson (2009). Byrne v Boadle. Retrieved from: http://www.eejlaw.com/c/Byrne_v_Boadle_T10.pdf Pearson Education. (2011)- Negligence and Unintentional Torts. Retrieved from: http://wps.prenhall.com/ca_ph_blair_law_1/2/538/...cw/index.html Schubert, F. A. (2012). Introduction to law and the legal system. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.