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:
Today’s Objectives Define tort law. Distinguish between a crime and a tort. Identify common torts. Explain penalties associated with torts.
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.
What is a tort? A private wrong committed by one person against another.
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
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
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
Intentional Torts Intentional torts are actions that deliberately hurt, embarrass, or scare people.
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
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
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
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
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)
Nuisance Anything that interferes with the enjoyment of property Examples: Loud music at night Foul odors
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.