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Intentional Torts, Negligence, and Strict Liability

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Intentional Torts, Negligence, and Strict Liability. Section 5-2. What Are the Most Common Intentional Torts?. Intentional torts are torts in which the defendant possessed the intent or purpose to inflict the resultant injury. Assault.

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what are the most common intentional torts
What Are the Most Common Intentional Torts?

Intentional torts are torts in which the defendant possessed the intent or purpose to inflict the resultant injury.


occurs when one person intentionally puts another in reasonable fear of an offensive or harmful bodily contact


Harmful or offensive touching, includes pushing,

punching, spitting, or shooting.

false imprisonment
False Imprisonment
  • The intentional confinement of a person against the person’s will and without lawful privilege.
  • It can include being handcuffed or locked in a room or car.

False statements that injure a person’s reputation or good name.

  • slander—spoken defamation
  • libel- written or printed defamation

To be defamatory the statement must be:

  • False
  • Communicated to a 3rd party
  • The victim’s reputation is ruined or he/she faces ridicule
invasion of privacy
Invasion of Privacy

Uninvited intrusion into an individual’s personal

relationships and activities.

trespass to land
Trespass to Land

Entry onto the property of another without the owner’s consent.


When property is stolen, destroyed, or used in a

manner inconsistent with the owner’s right.

Its criminal counterpart is theft.

interference with contractual relations
Interference with Contractual Relations

Encouraging someone to breach a contract.


Intentional misrepresentation of an existing important fact.

what is negligence
What is Negligence?
  • Negligence is the most common tort!
  • Intent is not required for negligence.
  • Like other torts, it involves the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury.
the duty in negligence
The Duty in Negligence
  • The general duty imposed by negligence law is the reasonable-man standard.
    • reasonable-man standard —requires that we act with the care and good judgment of a reasonable person as not to cause injury to others.
  • Children under the age of 7 are incapable of negligence.
  • Professionals and skilled tradespersons are held to a higher degree of care in their work.
the breach of duty in negligence
The Breach of Duty in Negligence
  • The defendant’s conduct is compared to the reasonable-man standard to see if a violation of the duty occurred.
causation and injury in negligence
Causation and Injury in Negligence
  • The violation of the duty must be the cause of injury.
defenses to negligence
Defenses to Negligence
  • Contributory negligence —defendant may not have to pay, his negligence may only have been part of the problem (some states)
  • Comparative negligence —applies when a plaintiff is partially at fault therefore the defendants payment will be reduced (most states).
  • Assumption of the risk —if plaintiff’s are aware of the danger, but decide to subject themselves to the risk anyway Ex.—walking on a wet floor when there is a warning sign.
strict liability
Strict Liability
  • Liability that exists even though the defendant was not negligent.
      • Engaging in dangerous activities—storing flammable liquids.
      • Owning animals—having a dog bite someone
      • Sale of goods that are dangerous
  • In other words, even if you did not actually do something that caused injury, something you own did.

What’s Your Verdict?

Britt was driving home late one rainy night after drinking alcohol all evening. With only one working headlight, she raced down residential streets at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Meanwhile, Yee was slowly backing her station wagon out of her driveway, but she failed to look both ways when she should have. Britt rammed into the right rear end of Yee’s car. Yee’s station wagon was badly damaged, and she was injured.

Can Yee collect from Britt?

Britt’s conduct should be compared to the reasonable man standard to determine whether a violation of the duty occurred.
  • In this case, a reasonable man would drive at safe speed, only when sober, and with both headlights working. Britt clearly breached the reasonable man standard.
  • Britt’s speeding was a breach of the duty and it is reasonably foreseeable that speeding will cause injury.

What’s Your Verdict?

Mrs. Lamm went to a grocery store and placed a plastic Pepsi bottle into her shopping cart. One of the bottles exploded and the broken plastic sliced her leg.

Can she collect in tort from the grocery store or Pepsi Co.?