Tort – Against another person, prosecuted by the other person, money damages Intentional tort – harm caused by a deliberate action
Defamation – slander or libel that hurts a person’s reputation Elements of Defamation: 1. Defamatory Statement 2. Falseness – the statement must be false 3. Communicated – the statement must be communicated to a third party 4. Injury – the plaintiff must show some injury Opinion – a valid defense in a defamation case, cannot be proven true or false Public officials (police officers, politicians) and public figures (movie stars) must prove actual malice—that the defendant knew the defamatory statement was false or acted with reckless disregard to the truth.
Absolute privilege – A witness testifying in court may never be sued for defamation Qualified privilege – When someone reports a suspected criminal act
False Imprisonment – the intentional restraint of another person without reasonable cause or without consent. Generally, a store may detain a suspected shoplifter if there is a reasonable basis for the suspicion and the detention is done reasonably.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – results from extreme and outrageous conduct that causes serious emotional harm.
Battery – an intentional touching of another person in a way that is unwanted or offensive
Assault – occurs when there is imminent fear of battery
Trespass – intentionally entering land that belongs to someone else or remaining on the land after being asked to leave. Also, leaving some object on someone else’s land.
Conversion – taking or using someone’s personal property without consent
Fraud – injuring another person by deliberate deception
Compensatory Damages – money intended to restore a plaintiff to the position he was in before the injury
Single Recovery Act – requires a court to settle the matter once and for all, by awarding a lump sum for past and future expenses.
Punitive Damages – intended to punish the defendant for conduct that is extreme and outrageous. The court must consider: Was the act extreme and outrageous? What is the ratio between harm suffered and the award? What is the difference between the punitive award and any civil penalties used in similar cases?
Negligence – the unintentional tort Elements of Negligence: 1. Duty of Due Care – there must be a duty owed to the plaintiff. 2. Breach – The defendant breached his/her duty. 3. Factual Cause – The defendant’s conduct actually caused the injury. 4. Foreseeable Harm – It must have been foreseeable that the action would cause this kind of harm. 5. Injury – The plaintiff is actually hurt.
Dram acts – make businesses liable for serving drinks to intoxicated customers who later cause harm
Affirmative Duty to Act – In general, the common law does not require a bystander to assist someone who is in danger.
Licensee - anyone on the land for his or her purposes but with the owner’s permission. The licensee is entitled to a warning of hidden dangers that the owner knows about. i.e. social guest
Invitee – anyone on the property as of right because it is a public place or a business open to the public. The owner has a duty of reasonable care to an invitee.
Reasonable Person Standard – a defendant breaches his duty of due care by failing to behave the way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. “Reasonable person” means someone of the defendant’s occupation.
Negligence per se – when a legislature sets a minimum standard of care for a particular activity, in order to protect a certain group of people, and a