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Chapter 18: Torts. A civil wrong. Comparisons. Criminal Law. Civil Law. Wrongs are called Torts Plaintiffs and Defendants Plaintiffs seek a judgment Penalties can be Damages. Wrongs are called Crimes Plaintiffs and Defendants Plaintiffs seek punishment

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chapter 18 torts

Chapter 18: Torts

A civil wrong

comparisons
Comparisons

Criminal Law

Civil Law

Wrongs are called Torts

Plaintiffs and Defendants

Plaintiffs seek a judgment

Penalties can be Damages

  • Wrongs are called Crimes
  • Plaintiffs and Defendants
  • Plaintiffs seek punishment
  • Penalties can be jail/prison/fine
the idea of liability
The Idea of Liability
  • Tort law deals with basic questions
    • Who should be Liable (responsible)? Also called Liability/responsibility
    • How much should the responsible person have to pay?
  • Tort law establishes Standards of Care, how we should act
  • The Purpose of Tort Law is to

1- Compensate victims

2- Promote responsible behavior

slide4
Examples1. ID the Plaintiff and Defendant2. Determine whether the Defendant should pay for the Plaintiff’s Damages. Explain.
  • Sixteen-year-old Carrie is babysitting for her four-year-old niece Jill. Carrie leaves Jill alone in the living room and goes into the kitchen to use the phone to call her boyfriend. From the kitchen she can hear but not see Jill. While Carrie is out of the living room, Jill falls off a chair and is hurt.
slide5
Examples1. ID the Plaintiff and Defendant2. Determine whether the Defendant should pay for the Plaintiff’s Damages. Explain.
  • Ben, a defensive tackle on the high school football team, tackles a teammate in a full-contact practice. When the teammate hits the ground, his shoulder is dislocated.
slide6
Examples1. ID the Plaintiff and Defendant2. Determine whether the Defendant should pay for the Plaintiff’s Damages. Explain.
  • Mr. Ghosh owns a large apartment building. When his janitors wax the lobby floor, they place a 12-inch-square sign near the front door that reads: “Caution. Wet Floors.” Mrs. Gonzalez is hurrying home from shopping with two large bags of groceries. She does not see the sign and slips and falls on the freshly waxed floor, injuring her knee and arm.
slide7
Examples1. ID the Plaintiff and Defendant2. Determine whether the Defendant should pay for the Plaintiff’s Damages. Explain.
  • Corina leaves a sharp knife on the kitchen table after making a sandwich. A three-year-old neighbor who has been invited over to play with Corina’s daughter climbs up onto a chair, grabs the knife, and seriously cuts his finger.
slide8
Examples1. ID the Plaintiff and Defendant2. Determine whether the Defendant should pay for the Plaintiff’s Damages. Explain.
  • Jess, an expert auto mechanic, continues to drive her car even though she knows that the brake linings are badly worn. Driving below the speed limit on a rainslick road at night, she slams on the breaks and skids into a bicyclist who is riding one foot away from the right curb.
how tort law is created
How Tort Law is Created

Tort law can be created through two ways

  • Common Law – the decisions of judges which become precedents
  • Statutes – laws passed by the legislatures
torts and balance
Torts and Balance

Tort law attempts to find a balance b/t preserving individual choice, determining the usefulness of a product, and protecting ppl from harm.

EX Drugs and Side Effects, Tobacco

types of torts
Types of Torts

There are three types of Torts

  • Intentional Torts – an action done with the intent of hurting or taking from someone.
  • Unintentional – Most Common. Negligence is the primary factor (acting in an unreasonable fashion)
types cont
Types cont

3. Strict Liability - It applies when the defendant is engaged in an activity so dangerous that there is a serious risk of harm even if he or she acts with utmost care.

slide14

Determine whether a tort has been committed in each situation below. If there is a tort, is it an intentional wrong, an act of negligence, or an activity for which strict liability should be imposed? Explain.

  • a. José trips over his untied shoelace while running to catch a bus, breaking his ankle.
  • b. Mr. Slifko buys a strong painkiller at the drugstore and takes the capsules according to the directions on the package. He has an extremely bad reaction to the drug and has to be taken to the hospital.
  • c. Chen drinks too much alcohol at the office holiday party. His supervisor, Ruth, advises him to take a taxi home, but he thinks he will be okay if he drives slowly. Not noticing a stop sign he strikes and kills a pedestrian crossing the street.
who to sue
Who to sue

Who can be sued – Individuals, businesses, organizations, groups and some gov’t agencies

Who should you sue – The person with the Deep Pockets, ie the person who can pay

Who can’t be sued (have immunity) – Government and gov’t officials, Spouses, siblings

class action suits
Class Action Suits

Sometimes there can be more then one plaintiff

When this happens, the injured parties may form a “class” and bring their lawsuit together. This is called a class action.

lawyers and s uites
Lawyers and Suites

Lawyers are recommended for all civil actions

Attorneys can charge fees or work on contingency

Contingency Fees are a % of the winnings in lieu of fees up front, typically between 40-60% of any settlement or judgment. This is a risk for the attorney since if they don’t win, they don’t get paid.

insurance
Insurance

Liability insurance is a contract, or agreement. The insured person agrees to make payments—known as premiums—to the insurance company, and the company agrees to pay for damages caused by the insured persons for the length of the contract.

types of liability insurance
Types of Liability Insurance

Malpractice Insurance – Bought by doctors

Workers Compensation – Bought by employers

Others types of insurance that carry Liability coverage

Car Insurance

Homeowners