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Torts and Cyber Torts Chapter 4.

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1 Torts and Cyber Torts Chapter 4

2 Torts: An Introduction
What is a Tort? A civil wrong, not arising from a breach of contract or other agreement. A breach of a legal duty that proximately causes harm or injury to another.

3 Torts: An Introduction
Civil vs. Criminal Wrong A tort is a “civil” wrong punishable by paying damages to the injured party. A tort is not a “criminal” wrong resulting in paying a fine to the government and/or being imprisoned.

4 Torts: An Introduction
Civil vs. Criminal Wrong Some torts may also serve as the basis for separate criminal prosecution by the state. Burden of Proof is different: “beyond a reasonable doubt” for crimes “preponderance of evidence” for torts

5 Torts: An Introduction
Tort vs. Contract The duty that is violated by the tortfeasor must exist as a matter of law, not as a consequence of any agreement between the tortfeasor and the injured party.

6 Torts: An Introduction
Elements of a Tort Wrongful Act Proximate Cause Damages

7 Torts: An Introduction
Proximate Cause cause and effect relationship a foreseeable and probable consequence of the act or omission.

8 Intentional Torts: A tort intentionally or knowingly committed. It can be to a person or to property.

9 Intentional Torts: Assault
An intentional act that creates a reasonable apprehension of immediate harmful contact. For example, pointing a gun at someone.

10 Intentional Torts: Battery
An intentional harmful or offensive contact. For example, getting hit by the bullet.

11 Intentional Torts: False Imprisonment
The intentional confinement or restraint of another person’s activities without justification. Restraint may occur through the use of physical barriers, physical restraint, or threats of physical force.

12 Intentional Torts: Infliction of Emotional Distress
An intentional act that amounts to extreme and outrageous conduct resulting in severe emotional distress to another. Parodies of public figures protected

13 Intentional Torts: Defamation
Defamation is anything published or publicly spoken that injures another’s character, reputation, or good name. Libel is defamation that is written. Slander is defamation in oral form. Truth is normally an absolute defense against any claim of defamation. Public figure has to prove actual malice.

14 Intentional Torts: Privacy
Invasion of Privacy Four acts generally qualify as improperly infringing on another’s privacy:

15 Intentional Torts: Privacy
Appropriation: use of a person’s name or likeness without permission. Intrusion in an individual’s affairs where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Public disclosure of private facts that an ordinary person would find objectionable. Publication of information that places a person in a false light.

16 Intentional Torts: Fraud
Actionable fraud consists of the following elements: A misstatement of a material fact Made knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth With intention to deceive another With justifiably reliance by a reasonable person

17 Intentional Torts: Fraud
Mere puffery, or “sales talk,” is not fraud because such claims involve opinions, not facts, and therefore cannot be justifiably relied upon by a reasonable person.

18 Intentional Torts: Tortious Interference
Intentional interference with a contractual relationship Must be a contract between two parties Third party must know the contract exists Third party must intentionally cause a breach of that contract

19 Intentional Torts: Tortious Interference
Intentional Interference with a business relationship - Must be some sort of predatory behavior Bona Fide competitive behavior is a defense to tortious interference

20 Intentional Torts: Trespass
Entry onto another person’s land without permission. It may be: On land Above land Below surface It also may involve personal property, such as a website

21 Intentional Torts: Conversion
Wrongfully taking or retaining another’s property and placing it in service of another.

22 Negligence: Basic Principles
Elements of Negligence: Duty of care to act as a reasonable person under similar circumstances Breach of Duty Proximate Cause Of Damages to the Plaintiff.

23 Duty No duty to stop and render aid
Duty to aid if you were involved in accident In your actions, act as a reasonable person would act

24 Duty of Landowners Trespassers
Duty not to intentionally or recklessly cause them harm.

25 Duty of Landowners Licensees - social guests and other persons not on the premises for any business purpose Duty to warn of any known dangers

26 Duty of Landowners Invitees - persons who come onto premises for business purposes, including retail and other establishments Duty to warn of known dangers and those dangers owner should know about

27 Defenses to Negligence
Assumption of Risk Superseding Cause

28 Negligence: Damages Tort law recognizes two categories of damages:
Compensatory damages - Designed to reimburse actual value of the plaintiff’s injury or loss Punitive damages - Designed to punish the tortfeasor and to deter similar conduct in the future.

29 Contributory and Comparative Negligence
Contributory Negligence Any negligence on the part of the plaintiff that contributed to the injury is an absolute bar to the recovery of damages. It does not matter how insignificant the plaintiff’s own negligence is compared to that of the defendant.

30 Contributory and Comparative Negligence
Once it is established that negligence of both parties caused the damages, the court must apportion negligence among the parties on a percentage basis. Adopted by statute in some form in all states Over 50% “no recovery” rule in Texas and other states

31 Strict Liability Liability regardless of fault.
Imposed on defendants whose activities are abnormally dangerous and/or involve dangerous animals. Imposed also on manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of any products which are “defective”

32 Torts and Cyber Torts Chapter 4

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