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LAW 122 (616)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 notes Intentional Torts

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Law and Business
LAW 122
Ricardo Reyes

LAW 122 Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts Feb 5, 2014 Intentional Torts – Occurs when a person intentionally, rather than merely careless, conduct (intentional or careless) ASSAULT AND BATTERY Assault • To intentionally create reasonable belief that offensive bodily contact is imminent • Purpose of tort: o Discourages treats ad maintains peace • Tort is not based on physical contact, rather the belief such contact will occur o Punching someone is assault if they see it. If you punch from behind, they did not see it coming, therefore it is battery Elements of Assault • Reasonable belief of imminent offensive bodily contact: o Reasonable: even if defendant lacked ability  Unloaded gun o Belief: actual bodily contact irrelevant  Missed punch o Imminent: distant threat insufficient  Kick you next week o Offensive: even if not harmful or frightening  Threat to punch even if too small to hurt victim Battery • To intentionally create offensive bodily contact • Purpose of tort: o Discourage violence and maintain peace Elements of Battery • Bodily contact is required, even with an object o Also enough if contact is made with plaintiff’s clothing • Contact is offensive, excluding normal social interactions o Brushing someone in a crowded hallway Risk Management: Page 1 of7 LAW 122 Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts Feb 5, 2014 • To avoid vicarious liability, employers should train employed security personnel to use reasonable force • Allowed to use force to remove people from property, but not excessive force INVASION OF PRIVACY • No general tort of “invasion of privacy” • People have Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information • Desire to strike fair balance o Courts reluctant to award damages to celebrities for bad publicity when they seek out good publicity • Losses are often intangible and difficult to quantify o Embarrassment 4 Tort Protect Right to Privacy • Intrusion upon seclusion • Public disclosure of embarrassing private facts • Publicity which places plaintiff in false light • Appropriation for defendants advantage or name or likeness Intrusion upon seclusion elements • The defendants’ actions were intentional or reckless • The defendant invaded the plaintiff’s private affairs or concerns without lawful justification • Reasonable person would regard the invasion as highly offensive, causing distress, humiliation or anguish • No need to establish harm to a recognized economic interest • Damages will be modest Privacy is indirectly protected by several torts Tort Description Trespass to land Photographer entering celebrity’s property to sneak photo Breach of confidence Employees publishing details about employer’s private life Abuse of private information Photos of celebrity leaving AA meeting Misappropriation of Unauthorized use of celebrity’s image to sell product Personality Negligence Public identification of victim in sexual assault case Page 2 of7 LAW 122 Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts Feb 5, 2014 Crime of voyeurism is committed by secretly observing or recording a person who has reasonable expectation of privacy if nude or in place reasonably expected to be nude, or engaged in sexual activity FALSE IMPRISONMENT False Imprisonment – Unjustified confinement within a fixed area • Purpose of Tort – protects individuals’ freedom of movement • Defendant not held liable if plaintiff agreed to be confined Elements of False Imprisonment • Unjustified confinement within a fixed area o Unjustified: no consent o Confinement: includes physical and psychological • Complete confinement in fixed area: not applicable if alternate path, or plaintiff can easily escape • Without authority to confine, or “make an arrest” • Calling the police reduces but does not eliminate risk of liability o Business may still be held liable if it directed the officer to make the arrest, rather than merely state the facts and allow the officer to draw a conclusion o Business may be liable for the tort of malicious prosecution Police Officers Private Citizens (including security guards) May arrest upon reasonable belief in commission of May arrest on actual commission of crime crime or committed a serious crime in the past No liability if not actual crime Liable if reasonable but wrongful belief of crime Malicious Prosecution • Occurs when the defendant improperly causes the plaintiff to be prosecuted • Focus is not on detention/imprisonment, but rather on being subject to criminal proceedings • Elements of tort: o Plaintiff must prove defendant started proceedings  Out of malice or for some improper purpose  Without honest belief in guilt on reasonable grounds  Plaintiff was eventually found not guilty of crime TRESPASS TO LAND Page 3of 7 LAW 122 Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts Feb 5, 2014 • Occurs when defendant improperly interferes with the plaintiff’s land • Elements of Trespass to Land o Lack of consent
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