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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 INTRODUCTION TO TORTS.doc

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Department
Law and Business
Course
LAW 122
Professor
Theresa Miedema
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 3 INTRODUCTION TO TORTS law 122 INTRODUCTION TO TORT LAW Tort meaning wrong or twister or crooked. Tort: generally consists of a failure to fulfill a private obligation that was imposed by law. Torts and Crimes: Tortfeasor is a person who has committed a tort Tort occurs when a person breaks a private obligation A crime occurs if a person breaks a public obligation TORT LAW AND CRIMINAL LAW Private law or Which parties Who are the What is the public law are involved in parties to the usual remedy the obligation action if that obligation is broken? Tort Law Private Law The defendant The plaintiff sues Compensatory owes an the defendant damages obligation to the plaintiff Criminal Law Public law The accused The government Punishment such owes an prosecute the as fine or obligation to accused imprisonment society Blood feud: allowed the family of a murder victim to take revenge by the killing the murderer or someone in his family. The idea of allowing a victim to demand compensation from a wrongdoer developed into the system of private tort law The idea of allowing a community to punish a wrongdoer developed in to the public system of criminal law TORTS AND CONTRACTS Four differences between torts and contracts • Structure: both involve primary and secondary obligations o Primary- tell people how they ought to act o Secondary are remedial how they must act after primary have been broken • Sources of Primary Obligations: o Obligations in tort are simply imposed by law • Privity: o When two people enter into a contract they share a special relationship o Doctrine of Privity states that the only people who can sue or be sued on a contract are the parties themselves • Compensation: available in both tort and contract but calculated differently, Tort looks backward (puts you back in position you were in before the tort occurred) while contract looks forward • Risk Management: tort obligations are imposed by law more likely to take a person by surprise, in contrast contracts objectives are created voluntarily they should never take a party by surprise Sources of Privity Compensatory Risk management obligation damages Tort Imposed by law Enforceable Place the plaintiff -may take a person by regardless of as if the tort did surprise any agreement not occur -may require more between the than a person is able parties to give Contract Voluntarily Enforceable Place the plaintiff -always possible to created by the only by or as if contract was know the obligations parties against a party fulfilled in advance to the contract -always possible to limit the obligations to promises that can be fulfilled Tort law has to strike a balance between competing interests Ex. While it wants to respect freedom of choice, it also wants to discourage dangerous behaviour. Three types of torts Intentional torts: when a person intentionally acts in a certain way -some torts require proof that the defendant intended to hurt the plaintiff. Others are satisfied by proof that the defendant merely intended to do the act ex. Assault, battery, intimidation, conspiracy, deceit , false imprisonment Negligence torts: occur when person acts carelessly Ex. Occupiers libality, nuisance, negligence, professional negligence , product liabiliy Strict liability torts: when a person does something wrong without intending to do so and without acting carelessly. Strict liability torts create special problems for risk management as they do not require proof of any sort of intentional or careless wrong doing Tort law is dominated by Intentional torts and negligence torts, strict liability is rare Strict liability is limited to situations in which the defendant is involved in some extraordinary dangerous activity. Ex. Animals Strict liability – (Rylands V Fletcher)The defendant will be strictly liable for non- natural u
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