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Lecture

2 Tort Law.docx

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Department
Business
Course
BU231
Professor
Shelley Mc Gill
Semester
Fall

Description
Tort Law  Civil law & private  Tort “ a loss resulting from someone else's wrongful act or failure to act”  A Category of Civil Law (Private Law) that covers many different causes of action  There are intentional and unintentional Torts ‐ CONDUCT not harm  Intention to harm is not the issue – FAULT is.  Goal is not to punish but to compensate for the loss  Will control how/ when strangers are allowed to sue each other  Ie. Forget to salt your icy sidewalk (failure to act)  Doesn’t matter who intended it but rather, who caused it and who is at fault No fault compensation fund  Used to ward off the lawsuits  given to those where there is no fault  ie. 9/11  Policy Consideration  societal good – is there a reason that would benefit the greater society that a lawsuit should not happen  Ie. Not only the 3,000 dead people would be victims  injured, families, the first response people o Cost of processing, differing outcomes based on the opinion of the judges Strict liability  You are responsible no matter what  ie. It doesn’t matter if you tried to stop the event from happening, you are still liable  Example. Safari  was held responsible for their tiger attacking its customers even if their customers were the ones who unrolled their window down  judge said that the safari was strictly liable because they chose to bring in the tigers Vicarious liability  The employer who is vicariously liable for damages is entitled to claim over against the negligent employee  Ie. A pizza company can also be sued if their driver hits a person  Similar to strict liability  the employer is not there but they are still responsible  Only employers Class Actions  Bring together common defendants who have common complaints  Ex. A mass incident that have people suffering  can share the same courtroom and judge  will have the same outcome and less cost o Only problem is who has the money to pay for it upfront  Therefore, there are contingency fees  you don’t pay anything until we win  Lawyer pays for everything until they win  if they lose, you don’t have to pay anything  He gets a percent of the award won, but not over 49% Insurance companies  Help with public insurance liability  ie. Icy sidewalk Subrogation  The insurance company covering a loss is entitled to pursue the cause of action of the injured victim Intentional Torts Nuisance  Private or Public  Balancing interests of land owner and public  How does it differ from occupier’s liability?  Unreasonable interference (don’t have to be directly there) with the enjoyment of my property o Ie. The golf ball incident  Key is not that there was interference, but how unreasonable it is o ie. How many golf balls would make it “unreasonable”  Doesn’t matter who was in there first  Public nuisance deals with public land  ie. Highways, parks Trespass  Passing by someone’s property and damage something  it break something False imprisonment & false arrest  Must prove that there was an arrest and it was improper  not within their legal rights  Private citizens can only arrest when the crime has been committed Malicious prosecution  Deliberately laying criminal charges/ charging people improperly  Ex. Laying a criminal charge (not a tort) but a week later, adding another charge on purpose without grounds (tort)  there must be a pattern of repeated behaviour Induced breach of contract  Pre‐existing contract that a third person convinces one of the parties to breach.  Examples: o Employee Recruitment o Confidentiality agreements o Listing agreements o Credit Card Interest Rates o Non-compete contract  after you quit, you won’t compete against us (ie. Working with other competing companies) o Confidentiality clause  disclose company information o Do not want you to recruit or steal their clients or employees o If another company persuades you to break your contract, the main company can sue you and the other company Defamation  Libel (writing) vs. Slander (talking, ie. Radio)  Publishing lies/ untrue statements that cause harm  damage their reputation o Must be able to be able to prove that it was publicized (repeated to the public), was untrue and caused harm to their reputation (what others think of you)  Absolute and Qualified Privilege  Fair Comment (honest belief)  Libel and Slander Act (newspapers) o Creates separate and different rules for those in news reporting  since the news is made fast, there will be mistakes  Mistakes are not considered defamation if you can prove there were reasonable grounds to support it and that it was reported in good faith and that upon immediate discovery, you correct/ retract it  Notice  There is also qualitative and absolute privilege situations where defamation law does not apply (ie. In legislature/ house of common)  but if they say the same thing in the legislature outside to someone, then they can be charged for slander Assault & battery  Assault: the threat of battery (ie. Killing them)  Battery: non-consensual touching causing damage Unlawful inheritance with economic relations – Product determination – Passing off - Unintentional Tort Elements of Negligence 1. Owe a duty of care to the plaintiff – the defendant should be looking out to care for potential victims  about who is the victim 2. Breach the standard of care – the defendant showed less care than they should have  about what did I do wrong in my behaviour 3. Cause damage  about how did that/ I hurt them  All three elements or the cause of action fails  You can find negligence by comparing the standard/ minimum number of things(?) (ie. Lifeboats in Titanic) – Since there was no government regulation back then, they compared themselves against other ships which were doing the same thing Negligence  Done carelessly  done in a way that does not meet the required standards = less than appropriate 1. Owe a Duty of Care – 2 parts – Compare to what does the average person knows – Proximity ‐ foreseeability ‐ anticipate victim/ who that victim is (reasonable person / statute) – policy consideration to negate (def. prove)  is there any reason/ societal good to exclude someone – Childs v. Desormeaux, 2006 SCC 18 o ie. If your friend drinks in your house, you have a duty of care to the people who could potentially be hurt by their drunk driving, but if this was illegal, it would not be for the greater good of society  everyone would not go out and drink 2. Breach of required
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