Purpose: compensate victims for harm caused by activities of others. Tort: a wrongful act causing harm to the person or property of another. A tort identifies a set of circumstances that creates a right to claim compensation. Early stages of development: anyone who caused direct injury to another had to pay compensation no inquiry made into reasons for injury or whether it was intentional or not. Strict liability: liability that"s imposed based upon causation regardless of fault. Early tort law evolved in 2 ways and are now the heart of modern tort law: law took into account fault of defendant, took into account causation whether defendant"s conduct could be considered cause of harm. Fault: unjustifiable injurious conduct that intentionally or carelessly disregards the interests of others. One justification for basing liability upon fault is a belief in its deterrent effect people are more inclined to be careful if they must pay for consequences of their carelessness.