Chapter 4: International Torts
Invasion of Privacy
Trespass to land
Interference with chattels
International Torts: involve international, rather then merely careless, conduct.
Assault and Battery
Assault: occurs when the defendant intestinally causes the plaintiff to reasonably
believe that offensive bodily contact is imminent.
Battery: “ if you punch me from behind, you don’t commit tort of assault if I did not
know that the blow was coming. It consists of offensive bodily content.
Invasion of Privacy: (rejected?) there isn’t that much of invasion of privacy torts due
to freedom of speech and information. But they are trying to balance the two.
Who sneaks onto someone’s property to obtain candid pictures commits tort of
(trespass of land)
Posting something about your employers private life (breach of confidence)
English courts have recognized a tort of abuse of (private information)
Company that makes unauthorized use of celebrity’s image to sell its own
product (misappropriation of personality)
Newspaper ignores judge’s instructions not to put officers name in article
False Imprisonment: occurs when a person is confined with in a fixed within a fixed
area without justification.
Actual prison not necessary. Can be committed if trapped in car, room boat. But
tort is not committed if its easy to escape.
Physical force is not necessary. The detention may be psychological.
Better call a police officer that has a wider power than you.
If the business did not directly tell police officer to make an arrest ( cant be hold
liable for false imprisonment) , but it may be liable for Malicious prosecution: occurs
when the defendant improperly causes the plaintiff to be prosecuted.
Consent is a complete defense to all intentional torts.
An imprisonment is false only if it s done with out authority.
Officer may arrest reasonable suspect, guard can only make an arrest when
crime is actually being committed.
Person didn’t pay full bill after meal at restaurant commits a breach of contract. Trespass to Land: occurs when the defendant improperly interferes with the plaintiff’s
Tort Protected Interest Elements of Proof
Assault Freedom from fear of Intentional act
offensive bodily contact Causing a reasonable
belief that offensive bodily
contact is imminent
Battery Freedom from offensive Intentional act
bodily contact Causing offensive bodily
False Imprisonment Freedom of movement Intentional act
Involving physical or
Causing person to be
confined within fixed area
Malicious Prosecution Freedom of improper Criminal proceedings
prosecution commenced for malicious
or improper purpose,
without honest belief on
reasonable grounds that
crime was committed
Resulting in acquittal of
Trespass to Land Right to exclude trespassers Intentional Act
from land Causing person or object
to interfere with land.
Interference with chattels:
Chattels: are moveable forms of property, such as books, horses, and cars.
Torts that protect chattels:
Trespass to chattel
Tort Basis of the Tort General Remedy
Trespass to chattels Defendant’s interference Compensation for loss
with chattels in plaintiffs
Conversion Defendant’s interference Forced sale of chattels from
with chattels in plaintiff’s plaintiff to defendant
possession – serious enough
to justify forced sale
Detinue Defendant’s failure to return Compensation for loss or
chattels that plaintiff has return of chattels right to possess
Recaption: allows a person to take his or her own property back.
Complete Defences: Protects the tortfeasor from all liability. Even though the plaintiff
has demonstrated the existence of a tort, the defendant will not be held responsible. These
are 4 defences:
Consent: is the most important defence. It exists if a person voluntarily agrees to
experience to experience an interference with their body, land, or goods. It can be express
or implied, and free and informed
Legal Authority: provides a person with a lawful right to act in a certain way. Generally
acquired through statutes.
Police officers – false imprisonment
Meter readers – trespass to land
Public officials – trespass to land
Self Defence: consists of the right to protect oneself from violence and the threat of
Necessity: applies if the defendant’s actions were justified by an emergency.
Partial Defence: allows a court to reduce damages on the basis of the plaintiff’s own
responsibility for a loss or an injury.
Provocation: consists of words or actions that would cause a reasonable person to lose
Contributory negligence: occurs when the plaintiff is practically responsible for the injury
that the defendant tortuously caused.
Consent Voluntary choice to allow acts that
otherwise would be tortious
Legal Authority Statutory or common law right to perform acts that otherwise would be tortious
Self defence Right to protect oneself, or a third party, or
perhaps property, from an attack by a
Necessity Right to protect oneself, or a thirdparty, or
perhaps property, from a natural disaster or
Provocation Words or actions that cause a reasonable
person to lose selfcontrol
Contribution Plaintiff is partially responsible for the
injury that the tortuously caused
Chapter 5: Miscellaneous Torts Affecting Business
More torts that are important in the business context:
Intimidation Interference with contractual relations
Unlawful interference with economic relations
The rule in Rylands v Fletcher
1. Conspiracy (business): this tort usually occurs when two or more defendants agree to
act together with the primary purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer a financial loss, but
it is very difficult to prove in court.
2. Intimidation (business)it is concerned with unethical business practices. It occurs when
the plaintiff suffers a loss as a result of the defendant’s threat to commit an unlawful act
against either the plaintiff or a third party.
There are two types of intimidation:
Two Party Intimidation: occurs when defendant directly coerces the plaintiff into
suffering a loss.
Three Party Intimidation: occurs when the defendant coerces a third party into
acting in a way that hurts the plaintiff.
3. Interference with contractual relations (business): occurs when the defendant disrupts a
contract that exists between the plaintiff and a third party.
There are two types:
Direct inducement to breach of contract: Occurs when the defendant directly
persuades a third party to break its contract with the plaintiff
Liability requires fo elements : 1. The defendant must know about the contract
2. The defendant must intend to cause the third party to breach that contract
3. The defendant must actually cause the third party to break its contract with the
4. The plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of the defendant’s conduct
Indirect inducement to breach of contract: Occurs when the defendant
indirectly persuades a third party to break its contract with the plaintiff. Same 4 liabilities.
4. Unlawful interference with Economic Relations (business): may occur if the defendant
commits an unlawful act for the purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer an economic
Name of Tort Unlawfulness Intent to Harm
Conspiracy Defendant’s act may be Lawful Act: hurting plaintiff
lawful or unlawful must be defendant’s
Unlawful Act: hurting
plaintiff must be
Intimidation Defendant’s must threaten Defendant’s act must be unlawful act directed at plaintiff but
hurting plaintiff need not be
Interference with Indirect: inducement to Defendant’s act must be
contractual relations breach contract defendant’s directed at plaintiff but
act must be unlawful. hurting plaintiff need to be
Direct: inducement to defendant’s primary
breach of contract purpose.
defendant’s act may be
lawful or unlawful
Interference with economic Defendant’s act must be Defendant’s act must be
relations unlawful or unauthorized directed at plaintiff but
hurting plaintiff need to be
5. Deceit (business): occurs if the defendant makes a false statement, which they know to
be untrue, with which they intend to mislead the plaintiff, and which causes the plaintiff
to suffer a loss.
Four elements to deceit:
1. The defendant must make a false statement
half true/ failing to update information/ caveat emptor
2. The defendant must, at the time of making the statement, know it to be false
3. The defendant must intend to mislead the plaintiff
4. The plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of reasonably relying upon the statement
6. Occupiers Liability (land): requires an occupier of premises to protect visitors from
7. Nuisance (Land): occurs when the defendant unreasonably interferes with the
plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of the own land (dispute between neighbors). Only occurs if
the defendant’s interference is unreasonable.
Courts will take into consideration the following:
The nature of the neighborhood
The time and day of the interference
The intensity and duration of the interference
The social utility of the defendant’s conduct
The defendant’s motive
Statutory Authority: The defendant caused a nuisance while acting under legislation
8. The Rule in Rylands v Fletcher (Land): states that defendant can be held strictly liable
for their nonnatural use of land if something escapes from their property and injuries the
plaintiff. Non Natural use of their land.
Torts Involving the Use of Land
Tort Basis of Liability
Occupiers Liability The defendant, who is the occupier of the premises, fails to
take adequate precautions to protect the plaintiff, who is
visiting those premises.
Nuisance The defendant unreasonably interferes with the plaintiff’s
use and enjoyment of their own land
Rule of Ryland v Fletcher The defendant uses their land in a nonnatural way with
the result that something escapes and injures the plaintiff
Trespass to land The defendant intentionally interferes with plaintiff’s land.
9. Defamation: occurs when the defendant makes a false statement that could lead a
reasonable person to have a lower opinion on the plaintiff.
A defamatory statement that is spoken
A defamatory statement that is written/fixed
Defences to Defamation:
If the defendant’s statement is true
Is immunity(speak with out fear) of liability
Absolute privilege Qualified privilege
Public interest responsible journalism
high government officials discussing government business
3. Fair comment
Is an expression of opinion regarding a matter of public importance.
Statement of opinion rather than fact
4. Public interest responsible journalism
statement by a journalism
Injunction – very rare
10. Injurious Falsehood: occurs when the defendant makes false statement about the
plaintiff’s business that causes the plaintiff to suffer a loss.
This tort may take a variety of forms:
1. Slander of Title: false statement that the plaintiff doesn’t own that property, making it
harder to sell for full value.
2. Slander of Quality: falsely disparage plaintiff’s product.
3. Other Situations: even if there is no slander of title or quality, the defendant may be
held liable for making other type of false statement.
1. False statement
2. Malice: means “Spite” or “ill will”. Acted out of malice.
Elements of Business Torts (Summary)
Tort Element of Proof
Conspiracy Two or more people act together to cause economic injury to
If otherwise lawful acts….
Defendants primary purpose is to hurt plaintiff
If otherwise unlawful acts….
Defendants should know that acts might hurt plaintiff.
Intimidation Defendant threatens to commit an unlawful act
Threat directed against plaintiff or third party
Threatened party gives in to the threat
Plaintiff suffers a loss
Interference with contractual Defendant induces a third party to break contract with plaintiff.
relations If defendant directly induces third party…
Defendant knows contract
Defendant intends for third party to breach contract
Defendant actually causes third party to breach contract
Plaintiff suffers loss If defendant indirectly induces third party
Same four elements plus
Defendant’s actions are oth