4The Nature of Tort LawBased on the idea that everyone has certain rightsWalk freely without being falsely arrestedRight to privacyRight to a good name & reputationEveryone has the duty to respect the rights of others.Tort law enforces those rights and duties.
5What is a tort?A private wrong committed by one person against another.
6Elements of a Tort Possession of certain rights by an innocent party Violation of those rights by the tortfeasorResulting injury that somehow hurts the innocent party
7Key Terms in Tort LawVictim– the person who is injured; may be referred to as the plaintiff or innocent partyTortfeasor – the defendant in the lawsuit; person who committed a tort
9Criminal Law vs. Tort Law Committed against the public goodFollows criminal trial procedurePurpose of criminal law is to protect society by punishing criminal offendersCommitted against a particular person or propertyConsidered a civil or private wrongPurpose of tort law is to compensate a victim for injuries sufferedCrimeTort
10Intentional TortsIntentional torts are actions that deliberately hurt, embarrass, or scare people.
12Assault and BatteryAn assault is threatening to harm an innocent personAn assault has occurred as soon as you are afraid of immediate harm to your body.Example: someone pulls a knife on youBattery involves the unlawful, unwanted touching of another person.Can also be touching something closely associated with a person’s body (like a backpack or hat)Example: pulling a chair out from under someone
13False Imprisonment People have a right to move around freely. Example – security guards must have reasonable grounds to suspect a shoplifter and may only hold the person in a reasonable way for a reasonable amount of time
14DefamationDefamation occurs when someone lies about another person in a way that hurts the innocent person’s reputation.Libel – written, printed, or recorded lies about a personSlander – verbal or spoken lies
15Invasion of Privacy Interfering with a person’s right to be left alone Examples:Patient confidentiality at the doctor’s officePermission required to use your photograph, likeness, or name for advertising, publicity or marketing
16Torts Against Property Intentional TortsTorts Against Property
17Trespassing Interfering with someone’s real property (land) Includes things built on the land (storage shed) and things attached to the land permanently (house or tree)
18Nuisance Anything that interferes with the enjoyment of property Examples:Loud music at nightFoul odors
20Accidents Happen…Negligence is a tort that results when one person carelessly injures another.Negligence is being less careful than a reasonable person should be in the same situation.To succeed in a tort suit for negligence, the plaintiff must prove that all four elements existed.
21Elements of Negligence Defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of careDefendant breached that duty by being carelessDefendant’s carelessness was the cause of the harmPlaintiff was actually harmed by the defendant’s carelessness
22Elements of Negligence Obligation to use a reasonable standard of care to prevent injury to othersReasonable Person Test – a reasonable person considers how likely a certain act is to cause harm, how serious the harm would be, and the burden involved in avoiding the harmDutyBreach
23Elements of Negligence Action or behavior must be the proximate cause of injuryProximate cause, also called legal cause, exists when the link between the negligent conduct and the injury is strong enough to be recognized by law.The victim must suffer an injury, have property destroyed, or lose a lot of money.CauseActual Harm
25Strict LiabilityStrict liability is a legal doctrine that says that some activities are so dangerous that liability will always follow any injury that results.These activities involve a great risk to people and property … the risk is so great that no amount of care will eliminate it.Example: using explosives, keeping wild animals as pets
26Product LiabilityWhen people are injured by defective products, both the firm that manufactured the product and the seller of the products are liable for injuries.Fault does not matter.
27Limits to Product Liability Does not apply if the seller does not usually sell that type of itemDoes not apply if the only damage done by the product is to the product itself
29Penalties Associated with Torts Damages can be awarded to the injured party.The plaintiff gets something (like money) from the defendant.Court may issue an injunction to the defendant.The court orders the defendant to do or NOT do something.