BALW 20150 Chapter 6: Chapter 6 Summary

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7 Feb 2017
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BLAW Book Notes 2/7/2017 8:04:00 PM
Chapter 6: Torts p. 118-137
Two notions serve as the basis of all torts: wrongs and compensation
Purpose: to provide remedies for acts that cause physical injury or
that interfere with physical security and freedom of movement
Damages Available in Tort Actions
Compensatory damagesawarded to a plaintiff to compensate or
reimburse the plaintiff for actual losses
o Special damagescompensate for quantifiable monetary
losses
o General damagescompensate for the nonmonetary aspects
of the harm suffered
Punitive damagesawarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter
others from similar wrong-doing, available in intentional tort actions
but only rarely in negligence lawsuits, however maybe in gross
negligence (an intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in
reckless disregard of the consequences of such a failure for the life
or property of another)
Tort reform
Measures to reduce the number of tort cases:
o Limiting the amount of both punitive damages and general
damages that can be awarded
o Capping the amount that attorneys can collect in contingency
fees
o Requiring the losing party to pay both the plaintiff’s and the
defendant’s expenses
CAFA (Class Action Fairness Act)shifted jurisdiction over large
interstate tort and product liability class-action lawsuits from the
state to federal courts
o Class actionlawsuit in which a large number of plaintiffs
bring the suit as a group
o Product liabilityinvolve the manufacture, sale, and
distribution of dangerous and defective goods
Many states have placed caps on noneconomic general damages
(ex. $250,000-750,000)
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Classification of torts: intentional torts and unintentional torts (involving
negligence)
Intentional torts against peoplerequires intent
Tortfeasorthe one committing the tort
Transferred intentwhen a defendant intends to harm one
individual but unintentionally harms a second person
Assaultany intentional and unexcused threat of immediate
harmful or offensive contactwords or acts that create a
reasonably believable threat
Batteryif the act that created the apprehension is completed and
results in harm to the plaintiff, an unexcused and harmful or
offensive physical contact intentionally performed
o Reasonable person standarddetermines whether the contact
is offensive or not
False imprisonmentthe intentional confinement or restraint of
another person’s activities without justification
Tort of intentional infliction of emotional distressinvolves an
intentional act that amounts to extreme and outrageous conduct
resulting in severe emotional distress to another
o Actionablecapable of serving as the ground for a lawsuit,
the act must be extreme and outrageous to the point that it
exceeds the bounds of decency accepted by society
o Outrageous conduct
o Limited by the 1st Amendmentwhen the outrageous conduct
consists of speech about a public figure
Defamation (of character)—involves wrongfully hurting a person’s
good reputation, imposes a general duty on all persons to refrain
from making false, defamatory statements of fact about others
o Libelbreaching this duty in writing or other permanent form
o Slanderbreaching this duty orally
o Plaintiff normally must prove the following:
The defendant made a false statement of fact
The statement was understood as being about the
plaintiff and tended to harm the plaintiff’s reputation
The statement was published to at least one person
other than the plaintiff
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