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Business Law. Today’s Objectives  Define tort law.  Distinguish between a crime and a tort.  Identify common torts.  Explain penalties associated.

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Presentation on theme: "Business Law. Today’s Objectives  Define tort law.  Distinguish between a crime and a tort.  Identify common torts.  Explain penalties associated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Business Law

2 Today’s Objectives  Define tort law.  Distinguish between a crime and a tort.  Identify common torts.  Explain penalties associated with torts.


4 The Nature of Tort Law  Based on the idea that everyone has certain rights Walk freely without being falsely arrested Right to privacy Right to a good name & reputation  Everyone has the duty to respect the rights of others.  Tort law enforces those rights and duties.

5 What is a tort?  A private wrong committed by one person against another.

6 Elements of a Tort 1. Possession of certain rights by an innocent party 2. Violation of those rights by the tortfeasor 3. Resulting injury that somehow hurts the innocent party

7 Key Terms in Tort Law  Victim– the person who is injured; may be referred to as the plaintiff or innocent party  Tortfeasor – the defendant in the lawsuit; person who committed a tort


9 Criminal Law vs. Tort Law Crime Tort  Committed against the public good  Follows criminal trial procedure  Purpose of criminal law is to protect society by punishing criminal offenders  Committed against a particular person or property  Considered a civil or private wrong  Purpose of tort law is to compensate a victim for injuries suffered

10 Intentional Torts  Intentional torts are actions that deliberately hurt, embarrass, or scare people.

11 Intentional Torts

12 Assault and Battery  An assault is threatening to harm an innocent person  An assault has occurred as soon as you are afraid of immediate harm to your body.  Example: someone pulls a knife on you  Battery 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

13 False 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

14 Defamation  Defamation 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 person  Slander – verbal or spoken lies

15 Invasion of Privacy  Interfering with a person’s right to be left alone  Examples: Patient confidentiality at the doctor’s office Permission required to use your photograph, likeness, or name for advertising, publicity or marketing

16 Intentional Torts

17 Trespassing  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)

18 Nuisance  Anything that interferes with the enjoyment of property  Examples: Loud music at night Foul odors

19 Unintentional Torts

20 Accidents 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.

21 Elements of Negligence 1. Defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care 2. Defendant breached that duty by being careless 3. Defendant’s carelessness was the cause of the harm 4. Plaintiff was actually harmed by the defendant’s carelessness

22 Elements of Negligence Duty Breach  Obligation to use a reasonable standard of care to prevent injury to others  Reasonable 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 harm

23 Elements of Negligence Cause Actual Harm  Action or behavior must be the proximate cause of injury  Proximate 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.

24 Unintentional Torts

25 Strict Liability  Strict 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

26 Product Liability  When 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.

27 Limits to Product Liability  Does not apply if the seller does not usually sell that type of item  Does not apply if the only damage done by the product is to the product itself


29 Penalties 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.

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