Presentation on theme: "TORTS INTENTIONAL AND NEGLIGENT. INTENTIONAL TORTS Intentional torts share the requirement that the defendant desires the result or knows to substantial."— Presentation transcript:
INTENTIONAL TORTS Intentional torts share the requirement that the defendant desires the result or knows to substantial certainty that it will occur. Additionally, each tort has specific elements that must be satisfied.
Types of Intentional Torts Assault Battery False Imprisonment Interference with economic opportunity Slander & Libel
INTENTIONAL TORTS Assault Threatening to strike or harm with a weapon or physical movement, resulting in fear. Victim must perceive the threat is about to happen. Battery Unlawful, unprivileged touching of another person. Battery in tort law is exclusively intentional. Accidental contact is not batttery
False imprisonment the illegal confinement of one individual without his or her consent by another individual in such a manner as to violate the confined individual’s right to be free from restraint of movement
INTENTIONAL TORTS Interference with contractual relations Intentionally causing one person not to enter or to break a contract with another. burden is on the plaintiff burden is on the plaintiff four elements: (1) that a valid contract existed, (2) that defendant had knowledge of the contract, (3) that defendant acted intentionally and improperly, and (4) that plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s actions.United Truck Leasing Corp. v. Geltman, 406 Mass. 811, 812, 551 N.E.2d 20 n. 6 (Mass. 1990).
DEFAMATION Defamation Wrongful act of injuring another’s reputation by making false statements. An example is libel. Libel To publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation.
The Standard for libel was established in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).376 U.S. 254 The issue before the court was : Can a public figure receive damages in a civil libel action, if malice is not proven?
HOLDING The Court held that the First Amendment protects the publication of all statements, even false ones, about the conduct of public officials except when statements are made with actual malice (with knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity). MALICE does not mean an intention to be mean!!!!
The New York Times holding applies to a public figure ( For a private figure claiming defamation, the plaintiff must prove the defendant acted negligently, which is to say that a "reasonable person" would not have published the defamatory statement.
INTENTIONAL TORTS Infliction of emotional distress Intentionally or recklessly causing emotional or mental suffering to others. Most states no longer require that the victim suffer physical manifestations of the emotional distress What if a 3 rd party witnesses a “distressing event?” Can the 3 rd party recover?
Four elements: (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant's conduct must be extreme and outrageous; and (3) the conduct must be the cause (4) of severe emotional distress. Source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/intentional_ infliction_of_emotional_distress
NEGLIGENCE A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act Definition as found in FINEMAN p 153.
Definition Restatement 2d. Of Torts § 3.04 The Reasonable Person The most common standard of care in negligence law commands the defendant to act as would a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar circumstances. If the defendant does so, she is protected from negligence liability. Failure to do so constitutes unreasonable conduct and, hence, breach of duty. The reasonable person standard is an objective standard that compares the defendant's conduct to the external standard of a reasonable person. Thus, the law imposes on each person of society an obligation to conform to the objective reasonableness standard. There is much debate about the fairness of this objective standard.