Notes--Torts--2 days

By Kyle Ellis,2014-01-15 22:53
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Notes--Torts--2 days

    ? Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.



    A. Intentional torts

    i. Basic torts

    1. Battery (intend act + offensive contact + w/ P’s person)

    2. Assault (P in apprehension + immediate battery)

    3. False Impris (intend act restraintP knows + bounded area)

    4. Intent’l Inflict Ment Distress (intent—reckless too +

    utrageous conduct + sever emotional distress) o

    5. Trespass to land (intend + phys tangible invasion + on land

    includes air & soil to reas distance)

    6. Trespass tochattels/conversion (dmg + deprived possession; if

    conversionfull FMV as remedy)

    B. Affirmative defenses

    i. Consent (capacityexpress unless fraud, or implied: custom & usage

    or D’s reas interp of P’s conduct; D can’t exceed scope)

    ii. Protected privileges (self-def, def others, def propproper timing +

    reas belief of genuine threat; scopeproportionality, DF only if DF

    exp & never f/ prop)

    iii. Necessityprop torts (publicno liab’y; privateD pays actual dmg,

    D may stay as long as emerg exists)

    iv. Recapture of chattelsbattery, assault, false impmay use reas force

    /threat thereof v. tortfeasor; shopkeepersreas belief + reas detention)

    C. Topics w/ personal property rdi. Finders of ppty (abandonedkeep, lostobligations to 3 pty)

    ii. Gifts (inter vivosintend title transf + acceptancesilence ok +

    deliverysymbolic ok; causa mortisimmin risk of likely death,

    revoked if donor survives)

    iii. Non-consensual liens (o/s debt + Dr retains title + Cr has possess’n)

    iv. Bailment (exculpatory clausemay limit liab’y, only f/ negl)

    D. Defamation

    i. Elements (defamatory stmt ID’ing P + publication—foreseeable

    overhearering + dmgs maybe; dmgslibel: need not prove if defam’n

    perm in nature; slander per se: need not show if re: busi/prof’n, serious

    crime, imputing woman’s unchastity, loathsome disease—VD or

    leprosy; ord slander: econ harm)

    ii. Defenses (consent; truth; privilegesabsolut: sposual commun or govt

    officer in off’l capacy, qualified: socially valued if relevant facts + g/f) stiii. 1 Amdt defamation (above 3 + falsity + faultpublic: knew or

    reckless disregard f/ truth, private: negl)

    E. Privacy torts

    i. Appropriation (P’s name/pic f/ comml purps unless newsworthy; get

    injunc &/or dmgs; aff defconsent)

    ii. Intrusion (invade P’s seclusion + means objectionbl to avg person; aff


    iii. False light (widespread dissemin + major misrep + objectionabl to avg;

    aff defconsent, 3 privileges—spousal, govt’l, socially valued)

    iv. Disclosure (widespread dissemin + confid’l but accurate + objectionbl

    to avg, unless newsworthy; aff defconsent, 3 privileges)

    F. Economic torts

    i. Fraud (aff misstmt + scienter + intend induce + reliance + dmg to P) ii. Intent’l inflict pecuniary harm (intend econ harm + resulting harm) iii. Inducing breach of K (valid Knot termin at will + D knows of K +

    persuade abandonment + persuasion successful; defprivilege: in

    confid’l or advisory relationship)

    iv. Theft of trade secret (valid TS—busi advtg, not gen’y known, reas

    means to preserve + improp means; remedyinj to avoid comml use)

    G. Negligence torts

    i. Duty (tom/b foreseeable unless: rescuers, fetus born alive w/ injuries;

    level of careRPP unless: superior knowledge or phys charac’s if


    1. Kids (<4 incapable, >4 kid of similar age, experience, intelli,

    unless adult activityRPP)

    2. Professionals custom of avg mmbrs in similar communities,

    docs: + informed consent unless: commonly known, risks of

    declining, incompetent patient, disclosure w/b harmful)

    3. Land occupiers (activityRPP unless undiscov’d tresp; cond’n

    undisc tresp: none, discov’d tresp: known man-made death

    traps, licensee: all known traps, invitee: reas’y knowable traps;

    special rulescops/firemen can’t reover f/ job’s inherent risks,

    attractive nuisance—RPP f/ kid’s hurt by artif’l cond)

    4. Statutory SoC (class of person + class of risk, unless: comply is

    more dangerous or impossible; effectconduct is negl per se)

    5. Rescue (no aff duty but RPP if: create peril or pre-exist

    relationkin, common carrier/innkeeper, land occupier w/

    invitee; voluntaryliab f/ negl unless statute per-empts)

    6. Negt inflict emot dist(negl + zone of danger + phys manifest’n)

    ii. Breach (res ipsa loquitorcan’t occur w/o negl + D likely guilty—

    exclus control)

    iii. Causation (factual or legal)

    1. Factual (but-for unless: mingledsubst factor, or unascertainbl

    causeburden shifts to D to show not negl or J/S liab)

    2. Legal (m/b foreseeable; D always liab f/: interven’g med negl/

    negt rescue/reaction or protect’n force, subseq disease/accid’t)

    iv. Damages

    1. Legal (moneymed, wages, pain & suff—collat’l source rule)

    2. Equitable (ord injtort + inadeq remedy @ law + protectbl int

    in SMeven reput + inj w/b enforcblthat bal hardshps w/ P;

    prelim injlikelihood success on merits + irrep harm/injury) st Amdprior restr) a. Defs to inj(unclean hands; laches; 1


v. Defenses to negl (comaratvie neglP was not RPP f/ own safety;

    pure=P can always recover)

    H. Strict liabilty

    i. Animals (not dog bites unless knew propensity, wila animals,

    trespassing cattle)

    ii. UH (can’t become safe + severe risk + uncommon)

    iii. Nuisance (interf to unreas degree w/ ability enjoy landord

    sensibilities in community)

    iv. Product liaby (merchant + defectivemfg, or design: must show alt

    feasiblesafer, cost-effective, practical; prod infopart of design:

    warning prominent + reasy calc’d to get user’s attention)

    I. Miscellaneous

    i. Vicarious liaby (indem’n if liab b/c of relation to tortdeasor, contrib

    when liab split b/w ppl @ fault; employmtw/in scope of emp’t, &

    int’l torts if foreseeable or serve boss; indep contrno liab unless he

    harms invitee; auto ownersnot liab f/ driver unless doing errand f/

    him; parents f/ kidsnone; tavern ownersliab f/ cust’s acts if

    unlawful gave acloholminor or drunk)

    ii. Worker’s comp (exclusive remedy; whoemp’ee unless teacher/non-

    manual labor @ non-profit, ?-time domestic workers/servants, clergy;

    whatany injury—even illegal, unless b/c drunk, intent’l injury,

    volunt off-duty athletics; recoverymed + 2/3 avg wkly wage, death: rd parties) benefits & lump-sum pymt, can still sue other involved 3iii. Joint tortfeasors (compar conrtib unless: D vicariously liabgets full

    reimb, or non-mfr held w/ S/L—indem’n from mfr)

    iv. Loss of consortium (marriedloss of: h/h srvcs, society, sexmust

    prove validity)



    Prof. Schechter

    Preliminary notes: P’s hypersensitivity irrelevantlook to person of ordinary sensitivity


    A. The Basic Torts and Their Elements:

    i. Battery

    1. Intentional… = with the desire to produce the forbidden result

    2. Harmful or offensive contact… (unpermitted)

    3. With P’s person = includes anything connected to P (dog,

    purse, car)

    ii. Assault

    1. Placing P in apprehension of…

    a. Merely knowledge or awareness is enough

    b. From P’s viewpointso even fake gun creates


    2. An immediate battery

    a. Must be threatening immediate physical conduct (words

    along not enough for ―immediate‖; neither is

    conditional ―if you weren’t my friend, I’d hit you)

    iii. False Imprisonment

    1. Act of restraint

    a. P must know about it or be harmed by it

    b. Can be threats (―If you leave I’ll…‖) or omission

    (sheriff fails to release prisoner when required to)

    2. Confinement to a bounded area

    a. NOT if exists reasonable means of escape that P could

    reasonably discover

    iv. Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress (IIMD)

    1. “Intent” = includes reckless/deliberate behavior

    2. Outrageous conduct = exceeding all bounds of decency in a

    civilized society

    a. P’s hypersensitivityif D knew of it, then it is


    b. Hallmarks:

    i. Public humiliation (not private)

    ii. Continuous, repetitive conduct

    iii. D is a common carrier or innkeeper

    iv. P is member of fragile class:

    1. Kids, elderly, pregnant woman

    3. Severe emotional distress

    NY: separate claim available for intentional mishandling of



    v. Trespass to Land

    1. Intent = D need only have deliberately stepped on the

    challenged location (need not know it’s s/o else’s)

    2. Act of physical invasion

    a. D must physically enter the property (NOT if propel

    something onto the land (light, noise))

    3. Land = includes the air above and soil below but only to a

    reasonable distance

    vi. Trespass to Chattels/Conversion (small vs. big interference)

    NOTE: the same conduct can be either trespass or conversion, depending on the extent of the harmunique in all of law that you have alternate claims for the same conduct

    1. Elements

    a. Damage to chattel (eg, vandalism)

    b. Deprivation of possession (eg. Theft)

    2. Special remedy for Conversionfull FMV of the chattel

    B. Affirmative Defenses

    i. Consent

    1. ASK: Was there capacity?

    2. Two types:

    a. Expressliterally words in quotes

    i. Exceptionnot valid if under fraud (eg, one-

    night stand with s/o having STD) or duress (eg,


    b. Implied

    i. Custom and usage = P went to place, or

    engaging in activity, where certain invasions are


    1. eg, football gameyou consent to

    everything customarily occurring in the

    game, irrespective of rules

    ii. D’s reasonable interpretation of P’s objective


    1. P’s subjective mental thought processes

    are not legally relevant

    3. Limited scopeif D exceeds scope of consentD returns to


    a. Eg, house invitee trespasses in attic to steal

    ii. The Protected privileges

    1. 3 of them

    a. Self-defense


b. Defense of others

    c. Defense of property

    2. Requirementsmust show

    a. Proper timing = demonstration that the threat to which

    you're responding is in progress or imminent (improper

    if threat is overno revenge!)

    b. Reasonable belief = of a genuine threat

    3. Scope of action

    a. Proportionality required

    i. Privilege only allows you to use force necessary

    under circumstances

    ii. Excessive forcetort liability

    b. Deadly force

    i. May be used if expected that DF will be used on


    NY Distinction: Duty to retreat

    ; Rulemust try to retreat before

    using DF

    o Exceptions:

    ; Cops

    ; In your own home

    ii. NEVER allowed to protect property

    iii. Necessity

    1. Only a defense to property torts (trespass to land/chattels, conversion)

    2. 2 types

    a. Public

    i. Defined = when D invades P’s property in

    emergency to protect community as a whole or

    significant group of people

    ii. Rulethis is absolute defense (no liability)

    b. Private

    i. Defined = D interferes with P’s property in

    emergency to protect interest of his own

    ii. RuleNot absolute defense

    1. Limits on P’s remedy

    a. D pays actual damage inflicted

    b. No nominal/punitive damages

    c. As long as emergency continues

     property owner may not throw

    D off land (D has right of



    C. Topics Involving Personal Property

    i. Finders of property

    1. Classify the propertyabandoned or lost?

    a. Abandoned = owner gives up possession w/ intent to

    relinquish title and control

    b. Lost = true owner always has right to re-possess, but

    this is rarely asked

    2. Apply the rules

    a. Abandonedfinder becomes owner by taking it w/

    intent to control and keep rd-party finder b. Lostobligations of 3

    NY: Statutedepends on value of item

    ; <$20must make reasonable effort to locate owner

    o If after 1 year, no owner foundyou may keep


    ; >$20must return item to police

    o Police must own it for a period (varies based on

    value; eg, $5k must be held 3 years)

    o If nobody claims it after periodyou can keep


    ii. Gifts2 kinds:

    1. Inter vivos = made during lifetime

    a. Requirements

    i. Donative intent to transfer title

    ii. Acceptance by donee

    1. Silence constitutes acceptance

    2. Rejection possible

    iii. Valid delivery = turning over chattel, or

    something representative of the chattel

    Most likely element to be tested:

    1. Problem areas/scenarios

    a. First party checkscheck

    written to donee, memo

    ―gift‖no delivery until check

    cashed rdb. ??3 party check

    c. Stock certificatesdelivery

    occurs as soon as physically


    d. Agents of

    i. Donor delivery upon

    actually given to donee

    ii. Donee delivery upon

    receipt by agent


    2. Causa mortis = given in contemplation of death

    a. Must be (objective) imminent risk of death, likely to


    b. Rulenot valid if donor survives or donee dies first

    iii. Liens

    1. Purpose

    a. Gives s/o who has improved or enhanced the value of

    the chattel the right to continue possession until he is

    paid for his work

    i. ―Improvements‖eg, mechanic repairs car,

    jeweler fixes watch

    2. Requirements

    a. Outstanding debt for services performed

    b. Debtor retains title of property

    c. Creditor has possession

    i. If creditor returns propertylien extinguished

    1. Exceptiongeneral lien = where s/o left

    responsible for a whole bunch of

    propertyif returns 1 piece, lien not


    iv. Bailment

    1. Defined = s/o takes possession of chattel with notion that

    they'll take care of it for limited period of time 2. Issues tested

    a. Scope of bailment

    b. Things inside of things3 examples

    i. Safe deposit boxbank is bailee of everything

    in it, irrespective of knowledge

    ii. Parking lotgenerally, lot owner not bailee of

    trunk items, or unconventional items

    1. Take your keysthey're not even

    custodian of car!

    iii. Coat checksstatute:

    1. No negligence

    a. If freemaximum recovery is

    $200 (tipping is not a ―fee‖)

    b. If fee paidmaximum is $300,

    never to exceed item’s value, and

    you must declare its value and

    get receipt!

    2. If negligenceyou get value of the item

    c. Exculpatory clauses


    i. Generallybailee can't eliminate liability, but

    may limit liability (eg, ―I will pay no more than


    ii. Only valid against ordinary negligence

    1. No protection for intentional torts

    D. Defamation

    i. Elements (for ordinary defamation)

    1. Defamatory statement specifically identifying P

    a. ―Statement‖ = written or oral, formal or informal

    b. Defamatory‖ = adversely affects P’s reputation

    i. Must be an alleged statement of fact

    1. Mere name-callingnot defamatory (b/c

    you have no factual basis to believe it)

    ii. Opinionscan be defamatory, depends on tone

    and context

    iii. P must be alive at time of statement

    2. Publication

    a. Statement must be made/shown to at least 1 person

    other than P

    3. Damages maybe (sometimes they drop out)

    a. Libel

    i. If defamation is permanent in natureneed not

    prove damages (but you may, and the more you

    do the better chances of recovery)

    b. Slander = spoken

    i. IF Slander per seneed not prove damages

    1. 4 types of statements

    a. Concerning P’s business or

    profession always gets to jury

    and they decide damages (maybe

    $1, but you'll get to them)

    b. Accusing P of serious crime

    c. Imputing unchastity of a woman

    d. That P suffers from ―loathsome

    disease”only two recognized:

    i. Leprosy

    ii. Venereal disease**

    NY: NY adds imputation of

    homosexuality as slander per se

    ii. If not slander per semust show economic

    harm (ie, that he didn’t get a K)

    ii. Defenses

    1. Consent


2. Truth

    3. Privileges:

    a. Absolute:

    i. Spousal communications (eg, no claim if written

    in letter b/w W & H)

    ii. Government officers engaged in official

    capacity (ie, can't sue a judge for something said

    in court)

    b. Qualified:

    i. Applicable to Socially valuable situations (eg,

    in recommendation letter, credit report)

    ii. Requirements

    1. Limited to relevant facts

    2. Good faith

    iii. First Amdt defamation

    1. Elements

    a. Same as those (3) for ordinary defamation


    b. Falsity (P must prove, rather than D prove truth)

    c. Fault (P must prove) concerning D’s mental


    i. If P public figureP must show that D either

    1. Knew of the falsity


    2. Acted in reckless disregard for truth

    ii. If P is private figureP must show that D

    1. Published the info negligently, without

    reasonable investigation

    E. Privacy Torts

    i. Appropriation

    1. Defined = use of P’s name or picture for commercial purposes

    2. Remedyinjunction & money damages (f/ past appropriation)

    a. ExceptionNewsworthiness

    NY Distinction: This (appropriation) is the only Privacy

    trot that NY recognizesNY does not recognize the other

    Privacy torts other than appropriation

3. Affirmative defenseConsent

    ii. Intrusion

    1. Defined = invasion of P’s seclusion by means objectionable to

    the avg person (eg, wire-tapping, peeping tom) 2. Affirmative defenseConsent


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