latin word for tortus meaning a wrong. a wrong committed by one person to another. a tort and crime can arise from the same incident. criminal is public (crown brings the action) tort law is private (injured party brings the action in civil court) private wrongs or wrongs against the individual. contract law relationship created by contract. tort law broader application, may be a stranger. a threat of violence or injury to a person. the unlawful touching or striking of another person. not every application of force is a battery in law. applied with the intention of causing harm. if it does not cause harm, it must be done without consent or in anger. punitive damages awarded in situations of vicious and unprovoked attacks. only taken into account in determining damages.