Limitations on the ability to sue in tort Sovereign Immunity Charitable Immunity Relationships
Torts Civil wrongs against a person or property Types Intentional Negligence and Strict Liability Damages Compensatory Punitive Burden of proof Preponderance of evidence What are the elements of the tort?
TORTS A wrong has been committed Civil, not criminal, remedy Not a breach of contract action
Question: Which tort? 1.A salesman comes to your house. While there, he takes your grandmother's antique crystal vase. You wish to bring a civil action to recover the value of the vase, as it has since been broken.
Interference with Property Rights Trespass to Land Entering, causing something to enter, or remaining on the land of another without permission Intentional invasion of the right to possession of land by entry or failure to leave when required. Actual harm not necessary element Generally, a trespasser assumes the risk of the premises Trespass to Personal Property Intentional interference with personal property of another that harms (injures, damages) the property and deprives the possessor of use for an appreciable time Example: breaking a car window
Interference with Property Rights Conversion Unlawful taking of or exercise of control over the personal property of another. Depriving the true owner of the use and enjoyment of the property Personal property interests are invaded by dispossession, theft, or destruction of the property
Question: Which tort(s)? 1.Mary purchased a pair of gloves for her daughter. When she brought them home, she found they did not fit. A few days later she put the gloves in her purse and returned to the store. She had never removed the tags from the gloves, but since she had forgotten her receipt, the store would not exchange the gloves. Mary put the gloves back in her purse and walked toward the exit. Before she could leave, she was stopped by two large security guards. Each took one of her arms and dragged her to the office. They opened her purse and found the gloves. They told Mary she was going to be arrested. They stood blocking the door so she could not leave, and eventually called the police.
Interference with Personal Rights Battery Non-consensual touching that is harmful or offensive Defense Consent
Interference with Personal Rights Assault Putting another in apprehension of an imminent threat to physical safety The menacing movement that makes one apprehensive about one’s personal safety No touching or physical injury is needed Mere words are not sufficient
Interference with Personal Rights False Imprisonment Intentional confinement of a person for an appreciable time without consent Accomplished by physical force (actual or threatened) or assertion of a legal authority Victim must reasonably believe he/she is being restrained against his/her will. Conditional Privilege
Interference with Personal Rights Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress Extreme & outrageous conduct by Δ Causing severe emotional distress With the intention to cause or with reckless disregard that emotional distress would result
Question: Which tort? Mink v. University of Chicago Several women were given DES as part of a medical experiment between University of Chicago & Eli Lilly & Co., between 1950 & 1952, to see if DES prevented miscarriages Women were not told they were part of an experiment or that they were being given DES DES was later found to cause reproductive tract disorders in children of women who took it.
Defenses to Intentional Torts to Persons Consent Self-defense
Question: Which tort? 1.A business contact is angry with you for personal reasons. He tells all of his customers that you cheated him and did not live up to contractual obligations, hoping it will hurt your business. All of this is untrue.
Interference with Personal Rights Defamation Publication of an untrue statement that injures a person’s reputation or character Slander Oral defamation Libel Written defamation Defenses Truth Absolute Privilege Conditional Privilege Public Figures Actual malice
1.The "Globe" magazine published an article claiming that Tom Sellack is gay. When Tom's reaction to the article was "No comment," reporters stated that he refused to deny the story. What must Tom prove in order to recover? 2.See also, New York Times v. Sullivan.
Interference with Personal Rights Invasion of Right to Privacy Behavior that infringes on a person’s “right to be let alone ” Misuse of Legal Proceedings Malicious prosecution Wrongful use of civil proceedings Abuse of process
INVASION OF PRIVACY 4 Situations: Right to control appropriation of name, picture, identity for commercial purposes Right to seclusion, solitude Disclosure of embarrassing fact Right not to be presented in a “false light.” See JOHNSON v. ALLEN et al. ATLAS COLD STORAGE USA, INC., 272 Ga. App. 861; 613 S.E.2d 657; 2005 Ga. App. LEXIS 311 (2005)
Interference with Economic Relations Disparagement False, harmful statements about products or services Must show actual damage Interference with Contract Inducing breach or preventing performance of another’s contract Interference with Economic Expectations Unreasonable interference with another’s business