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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts


Department
Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 393
Professor
Richard Yates
Chapter
4

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Chapter 4 – Intentional Torts
The Nature of Torts
Tort – a civil or social wrong
oWhen one person causes injury to another, harming person, property,
or reputation
oRemedies may include injunction, punitive damages, usually monetary
damages
Crimes – (as distinguished from torts) – wrongs that affect society as a whole
Wrongful conduct is often both a crime and tort
Standard for torts is “balance of probabilities”, while for crime it is “beyond a
reasonable doubt” – much easier to successfully sue for tort
(Contrast) Breach of contract – action which may not be inherently wrong, but
contractual relationship makes it unacceptable
oTorts are inherently wrongful conduct that falls below a social standard
Two categories of tortuous activity: intentional (deliberate) and unintentional
(careless)
Employers may be vicariously liable for employees’ torts while carrying out
work duties
Intentional Torts
Intentional does not mean the wrongdoer intended harm, but only that the
conduct itself was willful and not inadvertent
5 Intentional torts: Assault/battery, Trespass to land, False imprisonment,
Private nuisance, and Defamation (FATPD)
Assault and Battery (Trespass to the person)
Assault – conduct that makes a person think he is about to be struck, fear of
contact (eg. faking a punch, pointing gun, picking up stone to threaten,
threatening words); if a reasonable person would feel threatened with
imminent harm or unwanted contact, it is assault
oIntent to harm is not required (motive or good will is not relevant)
oBoth words and gestures/actions are taken into account
Battery – when someone intentionally makes unwanted physical contact
Even if no injury, “the least touching of another in anger is battery”
Defences
Consent – expressly or implicitly consenting to conduct (eg. medial
patients, boxers); must be informed consent, and interference cannot
exceed the consent
Self-Defence – reasonable/necessary force permitted to defend self or
eject trespasser
Trespass to Land
Going onto another person’s property without the lawful right or owner’s
permission to do so, even if the intruder does not know he is trespassing. Can
be temporary or permanent, direct or indirect
oIndirect trespass, eg. throwing something on a property or building a
structure encroaching onto it
People acting in official capacity have the right to come on private property
(eg. postal workers, meter readers, inspectors, police)
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