Law 122 Chapter 3: Introduction to Tort Law
Torts and Crimes
• Tort: Generally consists of a failure to fulfill a private obligation that was
imposed by law
• Tortfeasor: is a person who has committed a tort.
• Criminal Law: when someone commits a crime, that is a public law. The
accused owes an obligation to society. The government prosecutes the accused.
Punishment such as fine or imprisonment.
Torts and Contracts
• Torts and contracts both have primary and secondary obligations. A primary
obligation tells people how to act and a secondary obligation is redemial. They
tell people how they must act after primary obligations have been broken.
• When you commit a tort usually it takes you be surprise and you will be sued,
even if you promised to behave. In a contract the obligations are created by the
parties, therefor you agreed to commit to an obligation and know the
consequenses if you do not commit to it.
• In contract, the only people who can be sued or sue are the two parties
themselves. Because obligations in tort law are simply imposed by law, there is no
need for the parties to create a special relationship for themselves. I can sue you
for battery, for instance even if you promised to hit me or not.
• Compensation is available in both tort law and contract.
• Three types of torts:
Intentional torts: Occurs when a person intentionally acts in certain ways.
Ex: assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land, interference with
Negligence torts: occurs when a person acts carelessly. Ex: occupiers
liability, nuisance, negligence, professional negligence, product liability.
Strict liability: Torts occur when a person does something wrong without
intending to do so and without acting carelessly. Ex: Rylands vs Fletcher.
General Principals of Tort Law
• Liability Insurance: Is a contract in which an insurance company agrees, in
exchange for a price, to pay damages on behalf of a person who incurs liability.
Duty to defend: Requires the insurance company