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Lecture 11

MGMT 2000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Respondeat Superior, Punitive Damages, Reasonable Person

Course Code
MGMT 2000
Moeller Lon

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Tort Law – Glossary Terms
Compensatory Damages: Monetary damages that a judge or jury awards the winning party in a
lawsuit which are intended to pay the winning party for his or her actual (and proven) losses are
called compensatory damages.
Punitive Damages: Monetary damages awarded by a judge or jury in a civil lawsuit to the
winning party to punish the losing party for engaging in reckless behavior are called punitive
damages. These types of damages are not intended to compensate the winning party for his or
her actual losses.
Malice: A person determined by the court to be a “public figure” in a defamation lawsuit (e.g.,
an elected official or possibly a very visible celebrity) must show that the defendant in the case
acted with malice, meaning that the defamatory statement published by the defendant was made
knowing the statement was false or with reckless disregard for the truth of the statement –
meaning that the defendant did not take steps to investigate whether or not the alleged
defamatory statement was true or based on facts.
Reasonable Person Standard: Courts use a reasonable person standard to determine if a
defendant in a tort lawsuit based on a claim of negligence failed to meet the legal duty of care he
or she owed the defendant. A reasonable person is generally considered to be one who uses
average care, skill and judgment under the circumstances presented in the case.
Proximate or Foreseeable Cause: In a tort case, a defendant is only legally responsible for
harm to the plaintiff that could have been reasonably anticipated (“foreseen”) arising from the
defendant’s actions.
Res ipsa Loquitur: A rule of evidence used in a tort claim to infer that the defendant was
negligent based on the fact that the defendant was injured.
Actual Causation: In a tort claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that his or her injuries were
actually caused by the defendant’s actions.
But for Test: A standard used by courts to determine if a plaintiff’s injuries in a tort claim were
caused by the defendant’s actions.
Respondeat Superior: Under the common law legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an
employer is legally responsible for the negligent acts of its employees acting in the scope of their
Make Whole Damages: One of the fundamental principles of law in terms of determining
damages for an injured person is the notion that the injured defendant should be “made whole”
for all of his or her damages caused by the plaintiffs actions, that is, what damages should the
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