Intentional tort fact patterns
Quick links. My torts professor gives two questions usually and the first is predominantly a gigantic page fact pattern that has a "domino effect" set of causes that injure one plaintiff and with about possible defendants.
Case in point, A hits B's car both were breaking a law; one for speeding one for an illegal turnB hits a telephone pole which falls over made by C and maintained by Dwires fall down and create a spark on a tank of chemicals stored by E, which explodes sending out a shockwave that causes a building maintained by F who had been told about cracks in the building but did not repair them to collapse on a person G who went into a room in the building marked do not enter when looking for the laundry room.
G brings suit against all the above named defendants, what are the causes of action? I don't know where to begin on this. I feel like I know th law, but I just don't know how to begin and I'm freaking out. I shouldn't be freaking out.
But I am. Can anybody just give me hint at how to begin something like this. Then G v. D, etc. I don't know why I was freaking out so much. But for some reason I was missing the obvious.
He suggested writing by injury which I'm now doing because he said to do it that way. It works pretty well for the convoluted causation problems you run into. A is B's patient. C puts A on Prozac while knowing test results show that yr old girls have a higher rate of suicide while on Prozac for initial period. Two month after being prescribed Prozac, A attempts suicide and has a paralyzed right arm.
A is driving a lawn mower later and falls off while not wearing the safety bracelet and A's right arm is cut off by the blade of the mower made by D.
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Search this Guide Search. Basic Legal Research. Welcome to Basic Legal Research! About this Guide This guide is intended to be a quick reference to selected content from your Basic Legal Research coursepack, to assist you in course content review and completing your assignments. Important things to remember when using this guide: This guide is not intended to replace your coursepack, which contains additional information essential to your success in this course.
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Essential Accounts for 1Ls 1LS: Remember to sign in and activate your accounts on the following services as soon as possible, using the information given to you at Orientation: Bloomberg Law Lexis Advance Westlaw. Report a problem. All rights reserved.Nevada law allows individuals to use the courts to seek justice when another person commits a wrong against them.
An essential part of ensuring a successful recovery after sustaining injuries is knowing what type of legal action to pursue. This consideration is especially important when it comes to the difference between intentional torts and negligence. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care. As we go about our business in the world, we have a duty not to act in ways that pose an unreasonable danger to others. When a lapse in that duty results in an injury to someone else, the negligent person owes the victim for their damages.
There are four essential elements in a negligence claim. The first is that a person is in a situation where they have a duty to act carefully. For example, drivers on the roads have an obligation, or duty, to drive carefully for the safety of everyone else. The second aspect of a negligence claim is that the person must fail to act as carefully as they should. Next, this failure must result in a loss or injury to someone else. Finally, the victim must have physical, emotional or property damages because of what occurred.
An intentional tort occurs when someone acts on purpose. That is, a person purposefully intends the action that results in your injuries. Battery is considered an intentional tort. When a person strikes you on purpose, you can recover your damages. Other examples of intentional torts include trespassing, theft, and false imprisonment. In an intentional tort, an actor might not plan all of the damages that occur, but they intend their actions that result in the losses or injuries.Episode 1.1: What is Torts? And what Torts is not.
For example, in the case of assault and battery, they intend to hit you. Most auto accidents are considered negligence. Rather, they make a driving error that leads to an accident, which is negligence. The jury can presume that a person intends the natural consequences of their actions. The question is whether the person intended to undertake the particular action knowing that the result is likely to occur.
Negligence and intentional torts also differ in the way that defendants have to pay for the damage they cause. For an intentional tort, all of the defendants responsible must pay all of the claim. This process is unlike a negligence case, where a defendant must only pay for their share of the damages. For example, consider you have been injured in an auto accident. Two other drivers negligently contributed to the cause of the crash.An act, otherwise lawful, can not generally be brought into action by an averment that it was done with evil motive.
An evil motive in itself does not amount to injury or legal error. If a person has the right to do something, then his motive is irrelevant.
Motive is generally irrelevant in tort law, just like intention. Motive leads to intention formation, which is the ultimate cause. Motive is the ultimate object with which an act is done, while the immediate purpose is the intention.
The cause that moves individuals to induce a certain action is a motive, in law, especially criminal law. Typically, the legal system allows motive to be proven to make plausible reasons for committing a crime for the accused. However, motive is not essential for a tort action to be maintained. It is not just because the motive is good that a wrongful act becomes legal.
Similarly, due to an improper, evil motive or malice, a lawful act does not become wrongful. Pickles and Allen V. Flood may be treated as one of the earliest decisions that settled that motive is irrelevant in tort. The plaintiffs owned land below which were water springs used to supply water to Bradford town for more than 40 years. The defendant owned land over the plaintiffs on a higher level. The defendant, however, sank a shaft into his land to alter water flow.
This significantly reduced the amount of water flowing into the springs of the plaintiffs. There was sufficient proof to suggest that the defendant was following this course of action, not to give himself any immediate advantage, but merely to deprive the plaintiffs of water. The plaintiffs insisted that this was malicious and that they had the right to an injunction to stop the defendant from acting in this way.
Lord Halsbury L. If it was a lawful act, however ill the motive might be, he had a right to do it. Motives and intentions in such a question as is now before your lordships seem to me to be absolutely irrelevant. Lord Watson: No use of property, which would be legal if due to a proper motive, can become illegal because it is prompted by a motive that is improper or even malicious.
Flood and Walter was a shipwright who was employed on a ship, liable at any time to be discharged. As they had worked for a rival employer, fellow workers objected to their employment. Allen was a trade union representative on the vessel for the other employees and approached the employers, telling them that the other staff would strike if they did not discharge Flood and Walter.
Consequently, the employers discharged Flood and Walter and refused to re-employ them where they would otherwise. Flood and Walter brought the action to induce a contract breach in a malicious way.
There was no legal right for them to be employed by the employer and Allen did not perform an unlawful act and did not use any unlawful means to obtain the dismissal of the employee. Allen was found to have represented what would happen to the employers if they continued to work with Flood and Walter. He relied on what he believed was going to happen, and he was believed by the employers. This was not regarded as an obstruction or disturbance of any right: it was not the procurement of any infringement of rights.
The conduct of Allen was not actionable, although his motive might be malicious or bad. Indian courts have also spoken about motive non-relevance as well as malice in tort. In Vishnu Basudeo V. Prabhu Dayal[ AIR All ]the courts held that it is to be seen if the act is lawful, then the motive for the act is of little significance.A tort is a wrongful act in which harm or injury is caused to another person.
For intentional tort to be proven, it is not required for the person causing the harm to intentionally cause an actual injury, they must only intend to perform the act. For instance, if a person intentionally frightens a person with a bad heart, who then has a heart attack as a result of the action, it would be an intentional tort even though the person did not have the intention of causing the heart attack.
Proving an intentional tort requires that the victim show the defendant acted with the specific intent to perform the act that caused the injuries or damage. The defendant does not necessarily have to know that injuries would occur as a result of the act, just that the act is subject to consequences. In order to successfully sue another person for intentional tort, certain elements must be in place:.
Intent is defined as acting with purpose or having knowledge that the act in question can cause injury or harm to another person. If the element of intent is not in place, it can be referred to simply as a tort. Acting requires the person to perform an act that results in harm or injury to another. Thinking about or planning to perform an act does not constitute acting. Many intentional torts are classified as both criminal and civil acts. An intentional tort which is the subject of criminal prosecution often results in a civil suit between the parties.
If the defendant in the civil lawsuit loses, he may be ordered to pay the injured party monetary damages. Unlike the civil cases brought for intentional tort, the prosecution for the criminal act does not focus on monetary reimbursement to the victim, but rather protecting the public and punishing the guilty party. Some crimes fall under both categories of tort law. Battery is just one instance an intentional tort that is also a crime.
In this case, the injured party may choose to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the defendant, whether or not the accused person has been found guilty in criminal court. Intentional tort requires the person who committed the act to do so deliberately. This sets it apart from other torts, including negligence.
Role of Motive, Intention and Malice in Torts
Negligence is defined as the failure to use proper care, which results in damage or injury to another. For instance, when two people are in a car accidentit is typically considered negligence since the offending driver failed to use proper care when operating his vehicle. On the other hand, if the accident occurred and the offending driver intended to crash into another vehicle, it would be an intentional tort.In this case, the wronged party can then sue for misrepresentation, and the court may order compensatory or punitive damagesor both.
To explore this concept, consider the following misrepresentation definition. A misrepresentation is information that is untrue, but which convinces someone to enter into a contract. For a better understanding, consider the following example of misrepresentation:. Tom agrees to a contract with RealMan Magazine Company. After signing the contract, Tom realizes that the gift is not actually free, but the company has instead incorporated the price of the gift into the contract for the magazine subscription.
Had Tom known that beforehand, he would never have subscribed. The above is an example of fraudulent misrepresentation. Once Tom signed up, however, and read the fine print, he realized the company had taken him for a fool. There are three types of misrepresentation in contract law :. Fraudulent misrepresentation is the worst of the three types.
This is because the person who shared the information knew that it was untrue, but he made the claim in order to convince another person to enter into a contract. Someone who falls victim to fraudulent misrepresentation can sue the offender for damages and ask the court for rescission.
This applies whether the acts are intentional or negligent. Courts typically award compensatory damages in cases concerning negligence or illegal conduct engaged in by the other party.
In misrepresentation cases, courts can award compensatory damages to make up for the loss of money a person can suffer as the result of believing a lie. Negligent misrepresentation occurs when a party to a contract does not care enough to verify information before passing it on to those whom he is encouraging to sign a contract. As a result, the other parties suffer loss of some type for believing his misinformation. Had he vetted the information properly, then he would have realized it was bogus before passing it on and damaging others.
Victims of negligent misrepresentation can also sue for damages, and ask the court for rescission. A party makes an innocent misrepresentation when he has no reason to believe that the information he has is untrue. He then shares that information with those who are entering into the contract, and they all suffer damages as a result.
The victims here can sue for damages, but they cannot ask the court for rescission. To succeed on a claim of damages, the victims must be able to prove they suffered a loss by believing a misrepresentation.
An example of misrepresentation, specifically fraudulent misrepresentation, exists in the matter of Nielsen v. Adams Here, Don Nielsen was looking for a house to purchase for his son in Nebraska in A house owned by Orlene Adams was one of the houses he considered. When he asked Adams about it, she told him the sump pump was there to solve a minor issue involving moisture collecting at the bottom of the stairs.
Nielsen sued Adams, alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, and asked the court for damages. During the trial, Adams admitted hiding information from Nielsen regarding past basement floods, but she claimed that telling him anything about it would have been irrelevant, as she believed someone had fixed the problem. However, Nielsen knew better because when he removed the paneling, he discovered enough damage to prove that the basement had suffered water issues for years.
She stated that she believed the problem no longer existed when she sold the house to Nielsen, and the jury believed her. Nielsen appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Nebraska, and the Court admitted that the trial court should not have instructed the jury to rule in the way that it did. Ultimately, the Court reversed and remanded the case back to the trial court for reconsideration. Our earlier holding in Peterson v.
Schaberg, citation omittedand our recent holding in ServiceMaster Indus. Enterprises, citation omittedtherefore, are correct statements of the law and ones which we should continuously, consistently, and uniformly follow.The MBE will test you on the body of law that governs civil wrongs, such as:.
Approximately half of the Torts questions on the MBE will involve the area of negligence. When you answer a Torts question, assume that general principles such as comparative negligence and survival actions apply unless told otherwise by the fact pattern.
Negligence A. Causation is the legal cause of a plaintiff's injuries. In a "pure comparative negligence jurisdiction", a plaintiff's damages are reduced in proportion to her fault.
In a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction, if a plaintiff's fault is greater than a defendant's then the plaintiff may not recover damages. For example, Paula and Dana are involved in an auto accident. The last clear chance doctrine is applicable only in contributory negligence jurisdictions. Under the last clear chance doctrine, if a defendant asserts contributory negligence on the plaintiff's behalf the plaintiff may respond with the last clear chance doctrine.
Intentional Torts A. For example, Dan hitting Paul because Paul owed Dan money is an example of a volitional act. Dan consciously made a decision to hit Paul. On the other hand, Dan sneezing and hitting Paul is not a volitional act because Dan's actions were not the result of a conscious decision. General intent exists when a party intends to cause an effect and has substantial certainty of the outcome of her actions.
For example, Dana trips Paula and Paula falls on her face.
Comparing Intentional Torts and Negligence in Personal Injury
Dana may not have known that Paula would fall on her face but Dana did know with substantial certainty that Paula would stumble. Consequently, Dana had the requisite general intent to be liable for an intentional tort crime.
Specific intent exists when a party intends to cause a specific effect. Substantial interference occurs when a defendant's control over a plaintiff's chattel justifies payment for the full value of the chattel. The defendant must intend to perform the act that causes the substantial interference. The defendant's conduct must cause the substantial interference. The interference with a plaintiff's right to possess chattel occurs when a defendant dispossesses or intermeddles with a plaintiff's chattel.
The defendant intends to perform the act that results in the intermeddling or dispossession of the plaintiff's chattel.