LEGL 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Attractive Nuisance (Album), False Light, Actual Malice
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Key Points - Ch. 6 Torts
Tort: A civil wrong, not arising from a breach of contract. A breach of a legal duty that
causes another person harm or injury.
The duty that is violated by the tortfeasor
(“wrongdoer”) must exist as a matter of law
as a consequence of any agreement between the tortfeasor and the injured party.
Civil vs. Criminal Wrong: A tort is a civil wrong, punishable by compensating, or paying
to, the injured party. A criminal wrong is punishable by paying a fine to the
government or being imprisoned.
TYPES OF DAMAGES
Compensatory Damages are designed to reimburse the plaintiff for the actual value of the
plaintiff’s injury or loss.
Punitive Damages are designed to punish the tortfeasor for particularly egregious conduct
and to deter similar conduct in the future.
TYPES OF TORTS
Intentional Tort: A wrongful act committed knowingly and with the intent to commit the act.
Intent to do harm is not needed.
Unintentional Tort: A wrongful act committed without knowledge of its wrongfulness or
without the intent to commit the act.
Business Tort: Wrongful interference with another’s business rights.
INTENTIONAL TORTS: PHYSICAL ACTS
Assault: An intentional act creating a reasonable apprehension or fear of immediate harmful
or offensive contact (e.g.
, pointing a gun at someone).
Battery: Intentional, unexcused, and harmful or offensive contact (e.g.
, firing the gun).
False Imprisonment: The intentional confinement of another person or restraint of another
person’s activities without justification. The confinement may occur through the use of
physical barriers, physical restraint, or threats of physical force.
Infliction of Emotional Distress: An intentional act that amounts to extreme conduct
resulting in severe emotional distress to another.
INTENTIONAL TORTS: DEFENSES
Consent: When a plaintiff consents to the act that damages him or her, the alleged
tortfeasor generally is not liable for any damage done.
Self-Defense: An individual defending his or her life or physical well-being, either from real
or apparent danger, may use reasonably necessary force, or resort to reasonably necessary
action, to prevent harmful contact.
Defense or Assistance of Others: An individual can act in a reasonable manner to protect
or assist others who are in real or apparent danger.
Defense of Property: An individual may use reasonable force to remove an intruder from
the individual’s home or to restrain the intruder for a reasonable time. Force that is likely to
cause death or serious bodily injury normally may not be used solely to protect property.
Necessity: An otherwise tortious act may be excused if the tortfeasor acted in accordance
with law or the public good.