CHAPTER 5 AND 6.docx

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MGMT 644

Chapters 5 & 6 – (Chapter 6 in book) Torts and Strict Liability TORT – “wrong” - Civil action for injury to person/property Tort law protects a variety of injuries & provides remedies from them. Under tort law, an injured party can bring a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for a wrong done to a person or a person’s property. - Tort Damages: monetary damages that are sought from the offending party. Intended to compensate the injured party for the injury suffered. - Wrongful death action: action that can be brought by his/her beneficiaries if a victim of a tort dies to recover damages from the defendant. - Punitive Damages: awarded to punish defendant, may be recovered in intentional tort & strict liability cases. Categories of torts: (1) intentional torts, (2) unintentional torts & (3) strict liability. INTENTIONAL TORTS AGAINST PERSONS: The law protects people from unauthorized touching, restraint or other contact. The law also protects a person’s reputation & privacy. This is a category of torts which requires that the defendant possessed the intent to do the act that caused the plaintiff’s injury. 1. Assault – threat of harm; someone does something that causes another person harm. No touching is required; if victim is afraid suit can be filed. Focuses on victim: is victim fearful of being harmed. 2. Battery – offensive physical contact. (touching, hitting, & intentional contact)  Victim need not to be aware of the harmful or offensive contact. (Ex. May take place while victim is asleep).  There does not have to be direct physical contact between the victim & the perpetrator, as long as injury results.  Assault & battery can happen together but they don’t have to. (Ex: if I hit you from the back its battery not assault because you never saw it coming.)  Ex of battery include: throwing a rock, shooting an arrow or bullet, knocking off a hat, pulling a chair out from under someone, & poisoning a drink. 3. False Imprisonment – Intentional confinement or restraint of someone (physically or action wise) without authority or justification & person’s consent.  Victim may be restrained or confined by physical force, barriers, threats of physical harm, or the perpetrator’s false assertion of legal authority (i.e. false arrest).  Threat of future harm & moral pressure is not considered false imprisonment. False imprisonment must be complete.  Ex. Locking one’s door in a house or an automobile & not letting another person leave is false imprisonment.  Merchant Protection Statutes (Shopkeeper’s privilege): statutes allow merchants to stop, detain, & investigate suspected shoplifters without being held liable for false imprisonment if: (proving these id sometimes difficult) (1) There are reasonable grounds for the suspicion. (2) Suspects are detained for only a reasonable time. (3) Investigations are conducted in a reasonable manner. 4. Misappropriation of Right to Publicity (Tort of Appropriation) – Right to name  Everyone has the right to their own name, face, voice, & manner. If a person or company wants to use these, they must ask for your permission first.  When someone misuses our own rights (face, name, etc) for commercial gain this is considered a tort & you can file suit).  Ex. A company that uses a likeness of a famous actress in its advertising without the actresses’ permission is liable for this tort.  In such cases, plaintiff can recover unauthorized profits made by the offending party & obtain injunction preventing further unauthorized use of his or her name or identity. 5. Invasion of Right to Privacy – Kind of the same; law recognizes each person’s right to live his or her life without being subjected to unwarranted & undesired publicity.  Ex. If someone takes a naked picture of you in a locker room without your consent, and posts it on Facebook, it is an invasion of right of privacy.  If a fact is public information, there is no claim to privacy. 6. Defamation – reputation; lying about someone in order to ruin their reputation.  Plaintiff must prove that defendant made an untrue statement of fact about plaintiff.  Must also prove that statement was intentionally or accidentally published (seen rd or heard) to a 3 party. - Libel: false statement that appears in writing or other fixed medium. (Ex. False statement that appears in a letter, newspaper, magazine, book, etc.) - Slander: name for oral defamatory statement. (Ex. Person makes untrue statement of fact about another person to a 3 person.) - Since we are usually talking about speech, court recognizes 2 types of cases:  Public Officials and Public Figures – public officials/figures cannot recover for defamation unless they can prove that defendant acted with “actual malice”. - Actual Malice: means that defendant made false statement knowingly or with reckless disregard of its falsity.  Disparagement (trade libel) – lying about products & services: untrue statements about a competitor’s products, services, property, or business reputation. - Ex: competitor of Dell computers tells a prospective customer that “Dell computers always break down”, when in fact the rarely break down. This is product disparagement. 7. Intentional Misrepresentation – (Fraud or Deceit): wrongdoer deceives another person out of money, property, or something else of value.  4 elements required to find fraud: (1) False representation of material fact. (2) Wrongdoer had knowledge that the representation was false & intended to deceive the innocent party. (3) Innocent party relied on misrepresentation. (4) Innocent party was injured. - Example: Pg. 115 8. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (tort of outrage) – When a person’s extreme & outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe mental or emotional distress to another person. Can be one act or repeated acts. - Example: a credit collection agency that constantly tells off a debtor for being a “deadbeat debtor” in front of his family as he is exiting religious services is outrageous conduct that constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress. UNINTENTIONAL TORTS – NEGLIGENCE Doctrine that says a person is liable for harm that is the foreseeable consequence of his or her actions. Negligence is defined as “the omission to do something which a reasonable man would do, or doing something which a prudent & reasonable man would not do.” - Plaintiff must prove four things: 1. Duty of Care - “Reasonable person”: obligation people owe each other – the duty to not cause unreasonable harm or risk of harm to each other. - Example: Each person owes a duty to drive his/her car carefully.  Courts decide whether a duty of care is owed by applying a reasonable person standard. This test determines how an objective, careful, & conscientious person would have acted in the
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