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Chapter 6-6.4

SMG LA 245 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6-6.4: Collegiate Times, Qualified Privilege, False Imprisonment

Course Code
SMG LA 245
David Randall

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LA245 - Chapter 6-6.4 - Torts
Business Law - Professor David Randall
-Tort” = french “wrong”
-A tort is a violation of a duty imposed by the civil law.
-When a person breaks on of those duties and injures another, it is a tort.
-The injury could be to a person or her property.
-Ex. Libel - negligence
In a tort case, it is up to the injured party or the plaintiff to seek compensation. She must
hire her own lawyer, who will file a lawsuit.
A contract case is based on an agreement two people have already made, but in a tort
case, there is usually no “deal” between the parties. So, the plaintiff in a tort case claims
that the law itself create obligations that the defendant has breached.
[Types of Obligation Diagram pg. 133]
Intentional Torts- harm caused by a deliberate action.
Negligence and strict liability - injuries caused by neglect.
Intentional Torts
-Defamation - “refers to false statements that harm someone’s reputation.”
Can be written or spoken. Written = libel. Oral = slander.
An element is a fact that a plaintiff must prove to win a lawsuit.
In any kind of lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove all of the elements to prevail. Ex. of ele-
Defamatory Statement - these are words likely to harm another person’s reputation.
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Falseness - the statement must be false.
Communicated - the statement must be false.
Injury - in slander cases, the plaintiff generally must show some injury.
-Opinion - is generally a valid defense in a defamation suit because it cannot be
prove true or false.
You Be the Judge
CASE: Yeagle v. Collegiate Times
Public Personalities
public official— is like a police chief
public figure — is like a movie star
Actual malice = that the defendants knew the statement was false or acted with reck-
less disregard of the truth.
Online Defamation
-Privilege - defendants receive additional protection from defamation cases
when it is important for them to speak freely.
Absolute privilege exists in courtrooms and legislative hearings. Anyone
speaking there, such as a witness in a trial, can say anything at all and never be sued
for defamation. *in moments when candor = functioning democracy
Qualified privilege exists when two people have a legitimate need to ex-
change information.
Exam Strategy
-False Imprisonment - is the intentional restraint of another person without rea-
sonable cause and without consent.
(generally, a store may detain a customer or worker for alleged shoplifting provided
there is a reasonable basis for the suspicion and the detention is done reasonably.)
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