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Chapter 3

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Law and Business
LAW 122
Jane Monro

LAW 122: Chapter 3 Introduction to Tort Law Tort generally consists of a failure to fulfill a private obligation that was imposed by law  The purpose of tort law is to compensate the plaintiff (victim) Torts and Crimes  Refers to breach of private obligation  Tortfeasor: a person who has committed a tort  Tort occurs when a private obligation is broken, crime occurs when a public obligation is broken Torts and Contracts Torts are confused with contracts as much as they’re confused with crimes  Both tort and contract involve primary and secondary obligations o Primary: Tell people how they ought to act o Secondary: Remedial; tell people how they must act after primary obligations have been broken  Obligations in tort are imposed by law, in contract, they are imposed by the parties  The only people that can sue or be sued are the parties themselves (doctrine of privity)  Compensation is available in tort and contract, but calculated differently in each Types of Torts Intentional torts: occur when a person intentionally acts in certain ways  Assault, battery, false imprisonment, conspiracy, trespass, deceit Negligence torts: occur when a person acts carelessly  Nuisance, negligence, product liability, occupiers’ liability Strict liability torts: occur when a person does something wrong without intending to do so and without acting carelessly  Animals, Rylands v Fletcher  Do not require proof of any sort of intentional or careless wrongdoing, liability is imposed because the defendant was responsible for the injury caused to the plaintiff o You don’t have to prove fault General Principles of Tort law Liability Insurance (Not a principle of tort law, a form of risk management)  A contract in which an insurance company agrees to pay damages on behalf of a person who incurs liability  They also have a duty to defend (requires them to pay expenses that are associated with lawsuits against the insured company) o Compensatory function aims to fully compensate people who are wrongfully injured o Deterrence function discourages people from committ
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