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Canada (510,103)
LAW 122 (825)


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Law and Business
LAW 122
Tim Storus

Introduction to Torts  Tort: a wrongful doing in private law – failure to fulfill private duty imposed by law (most instances, imposed by common law)  Common Law Doctrine – legal rights, duties, liabilities generated by judge made law(s)  Legally imposed code of personal conduct (Contrast - a public wrong is a breach of duty owed by state – Criminal Law) o A committed wrong can be BOTH a crime & tort TORT vs. CONTRACT Tort – private wrong arising from general duty owed to each other Contract – parties voluntarily enter contract Tort – no need for special relationship to exist between parties Contract – applies only to parties in contract Tortious Damage – compensate victim for consequential loss/cost incurred (e.g. loss of wage) ”Look Backward Assessment” Contractual Damage – compensate for loss incurred because party breach failed to fulfill his/her contractual duties ”Look Forward Assessment” TYPES OF TORTS  Intentional Torts: an action purposely undertaken by a person causing injury/damage to another. o For certain torts…must have been to injury/damage another o For other torts…must have been only to act in a certain way (doesn’t necessarily cause damage/injury)  Negligence: a careless act causing injury/damage to another o Whether the tortfeasor intended the action or not, is irrelevant. o Strict Liability: liability incurred for causing damage/injury without having proof of negligence or intention  Often rare, they’re restricted to situations where the actions of the tortfeasor result in a dangerous situation/activity  Only defense is proof that the party who caused the dangerous situation exercised due diligence (person exercised to prevent harm to others)  Vicarious Liability: legal liability is assess against one person for the actions of another o based on common law doctrine & also in statute (Ontario Human Rights Code) Ex. Parents liable for actions of their children o Social policy reasons for Vicarious liability:  Deterrence: incents employers to take particular care in the people they employ  Compensation: expands the range of those liable to compensate to injured party  Fairness: it serves a broader community purpose to hold employers, Church & parents responsible for actions of their other. REMEDIES (Check Handout CH2) - Remoteness: tortfeasor won’t be liable for any loss suffered by injured party that is too “remote” (extremely far off) o remoteness as a restriction on damages DOESN’T apply to intentional torts o reasonable foreseeability is met if possibility of loss was not far fetched  reasonable foreseeability: predict/expect harmful result of their action - Mitigation: injured party can’t claim any loss that results from its failure to take reasonable steps to minimize consequences of the torfeasor’s wrongful act ALTERNATIVE COMPENSATION - Legally sanctioned schemes for compensating inured people - Workers Compensation: workers experienced workplace-related injury/disease are guaranteed certain level of compensation & benefits, in return for which workers forego their right to take legal against the employer o Overrides right of the employee to take legal action against the employer - No-fault Insurance: losses are compensated through a party’s own insurance policy o Result  in Ontario a person can’t sue in tort unless damages are especially serious (covers automobile accidents) INTENTIONAL TORTS  Must be an element of intention (tortfeasor), as opposed to carelessness (negligence) o The intention must be to commit the act, not necessarily to harm - Assault: tortfeasor intentionally causes the victim to “reasonably believe” that offensive bodily conduct is imminent (no physical contact req’d) - Battery: tortfeasor causes offensively bodily contact with victim o Not necessary that contact be hur
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