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Author Topic: Intentional Torts question  (Read 3727 times)

tacojohn

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2005, 10:59:16 AM »
This is a really interesting discussion.  Too bad my prof doesn't teach intentional torts at all.  It was negligence from day one, all day/every day.

naomi288

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2005, 05:00:16 PM »
Re: intent

Battery requires 1) intent to make harmful or offensive contact and 2)harmful or offensive contact

Some fact patterns I see say that the defendant can not really "intend" to be harmful or offensive, yet it is still a 'battery.' ex. a man helps a woman onto a bus, and inadvertantly breaks her arm. CALI calls that a battery, simply because he had the intent to make the contact. But my torts prof says the intent that should be considered should be analyzed within the context. ex. a man grabs someone who is falling off a cliff, and as a result they break their arm. My torts prof would say that is not a battery, because the man had no intent to break the arm of the person falling etc. It becomes confusing. CALI seems to think that's a battery. My torts prof pushes me in a diff direction. which is it?

the definition of battery is the intentional contact to another person which is harful or offensive

for a battery you only need to have intent to make contact that is harmful or offensive, you don't have to have intent to harm

it does not seem that this should be a battery bc the test for whether or not a reasonable person would consider the contact harmful or offensive, it does not seem that helping someone onto a bus would be harmful or offensive contact, but that is up to the court to decide within the context of the situation
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naomi288

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2005, 05:01:23 PM »
I was taught the same way your professor thinks.  And the E&E for Torts agrees.

"Intent" alone is not the element of intentional battery.  The element is "intent to cause harmful or offensive contact, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact."

So unless the contact is intended to be harmful or offensive, as determined by the reasonable person standard, not the victim's subjective opinion, it's not likely to be considered battery.  Grabbing a woman's arm helping her on the bus probably wouldn't be battery, as a reasonable person wouldn't think there was an intention to cause harm inspite of the result.  Grabbing a woman's butt in a line would be even if she weren't hurt, as it's likely to be considered offensive by a reasonable person even if it didn't hurt.

imminent apprehension of such a contact would be considered assault not battery
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naomi288

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2005, 05:06:07 PM »
I know what the standard is, no need to redefine it for me.  I can give you at least 4 battery cases where consent, not the reasonable person calculus, is the main issue in the case.  See, O'Brien v. Cunnard Steamship,  Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Vosburg v. Putney, Hudson v. Craft.  They're all concerned with consent, not what a reasonable person would do.  In fact, if you read Hudson, you'll see that the Restatement on Torts gives 3 different definitions on the liabilities of a reasonable person who consents to mutual combat.  Simply saying an act is reasonable under the circumstances often does not answer the question of whether or not it was a battery. 

reasonable person is taken into consideration when deciding whether an act was offensive or harmful, hence the reason why you can't bring action for a battery if someone brushes up against you in a crowded subway, although someone might find this offensuve and try to bring suit, a reasonable person would not

if a reasonable person would not consider the contact offensive or harmful, you can not fulfill that requirement of battery, and you don't have a case for battery
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jimmyjohn

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2005, 07:48:21 PM »
I know what the standard is, no need to redefine it for me.  I can give you at least 4 battery cases where consent, not the reasonable person calculus, is the main issue in the case.  See, O'Brien v. Cunnard Steamship,  Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Vosburg v. Putney, Hudson v. Craft.  They're all concerned with consent, not what a reasonable person would do.  In fact, if you read Hudson, you'll see that the Restatement on Torts gives 3 different definitions on the liabilities of a reasonable person who consents to mutual combat.  Simply saying an act is reasonable under the circumstances often does not answer the question of whether or not it was a battery. 

reasonable person is taken into consideration when deciding whether an act was offensive or harmful, hence the reason why you can't bring action for a battery if someone brushes up against you in a crowded subway, although someone might find this offensuve and try to bring suit, a reasonable person would not

if a reasonable person would not consider the contact offensive or harmful, you can not fulfill that requirement of battery, and you don't have a case for battery

How about if I'm in a football game and I hit the quarterback in the back of the head trying to make a tackle.  This is a potentially harmful and offensive contact to the reasonable person.  However, since we are within the context of the football game it is not harmful or offensive because the players have agreed to a certain amount of what might otherwise be considered harmful or offensive contact.  You have to look at the contextual setting rather than determining what a reasonable person might say.

Jackson Smith

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2005, 07:52:54 PM »
This is what my prof said today about this:


D can be liable for battery if he makes offensive contact with P, even if he does not intend for it to be offensive. ie D pulls chair out from under P before P sits down. P falls and bruises back. D might not have intended the harmful contact, but a reasonable person would find the act by D offensive and is therefore liable for the injury that results from such contact.

D cannot be liable for battery if he makes harmful contact with P if he had no intent to harm and it was not considered offensive by a reasonable person. ie the man who grabs the falling man and he breaks his arm. A reasonable person would not find that contact offensive, and D did not intend to harm.

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LibertyBell

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2005, 09:29:23 PM »
Hmm, are you sure this is the test the professor offered?  We just did the case with the chair being pulled out, and for us the test wasn't whether a reasonable person would find the act to be offensive, but instead whether a reasonable person would have known that the offensive contact would occur.

In other words, if D didn't mean for the offensive contact to occur, but knew that his actions would most likely cause the contact then D had intent...



This is what my prof said today about this:


D can be liable for battery if he makes offensive contact with P, even if he does not intend for it to be offensive. ie D pulls chair out from under P before P sits down. P falls and bruises back. D might not have intended the harmful contact, but a reasonable person would find the act by D offensive and is therefore liable for the injury that results from such contact.

D cannot be liable for battery if he makes harmful contact with P if he had no intent to harm and it was not considered offensive by a reasonable person. ie the man who grabs the falling man and he breaks his arm. A reasonable person would not find that contact offensive, and D did not intend to harm.



Jackson Smith

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2005, 10:15:34 PM »
Hmm, are you sure this is the test the professor offered?  We just did the case with the chair being pulled out, and for us the test wasn't whether a reasonable person would find the act to be offensive, but instead whether a reasonable person would have known that the offensive contact would occur.

In other words, if D didn't mean for the offensive contact to occur, but knew that his actions would most likely cause the contact then D had intent...



This is what my prof said today about this:


D can be liable for battery if he makes offensive contact with P, even if he does not intend for it to be offensive. ie D pulls chair out from under P before P sits down. P falls and bruises back. D might not have intended the harmful contact, but a reasonable person would find the act by D offensive and is therefore liable for the injury that results from such contact.

D cannot be liable for battery if he makes harmful contact with P if he had no intent to harm and it was not considered offensive by a reasonable person. ie the man who grabs the falling man and he breaks his arm. A reasonable person would not find that contact offensive, and D did not intend to harm.



Well, I said her back becomes bruised, hence the "harm." I don't know the case. I have just heard it referenced. I'm just using it as an example.


I'm confused about your phrase "most likely." As I understand it, the child doesn't have the intent to create harmful contact, just to be funny. The reasonable person would see pulling the chair out from under someone as being offensive, which is the lesser standard to meet. It was probably a bad example.

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btideroll

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2005, 11:16:19 PM »
Hmm, are you sure this is the test the professor offered?  We just did the case with the chair being pulled out, and for us the test wasn't whether a reasonable person would find the act to be offensive, but instead whether a reasonable person would have known that the offensive contact would occur.

In other words, if D didn't mean for the offensive contact to occur, but knew that his actions would most likely cause the contact then D had intent...



This is what my prof said today about this:


D can be liable for battery if he makes offensive contact with P, even if he does not intend for it to be offensive. ie D pulls chair out from under P before P sits down. P falls and bruises back. D might not have intended the harmful contact, but a reasonable person would find the act by D offensive and is therefore liable for the injury that results from such contact.

D cannot be liable for battery if he makes harmful contact with P if he had no intent to harm and it was not considered offensive by a reasonable person. ie the man who grabs the falling man and he breaks his arm. A reasonable person would not find that contact offensive, and D did not intend to harm.



when judging whether the contact was offensive you look to see what a reasonable person would feel under the same circumstances. judging whether or not the contact was harmful is pretty straightforward.

in determining whether there was intent, you look to what the DEFENDANT was thinking (what was in his head? did he have substantial certainty he was going to cause contac ?)

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2005, 11:29:38 PM »
Hmm, are you sure this is the test the professor offered?  We just did the case with the chair being pulled out, and for us the test wasn't whether a reasonable person would find the act to be offensive, but instead whether a reasonable person would have known that the offensive contact would occur.

In other words, if D didn't mean for the offensive contact to occur, but knew that his actions would most likely cause the contact then D had intent...



This is what my prof said today about this:


D can be liable for battery if he makes offensive contact with P, even if he does not intend for it to be offensive. ie D pulls chair out from under P before P sits down. P falls and bruises back. D might not have intended the harmful contact, but a reasonable person would find the act by D offensive and is therefore liable for the injury that results from such contact.

D cannot be liable for battery if he makes harmful contact with P if he had no intent to harm and it was not considered offensive by a reasonable person. ie the man who grabs the falling man and he breaks his arm. A reasonable person would not find that contact offensive, and D did not intend to harm.



when judging whether the contact was offensive you look to see what a reasonable person would feel under the same circumstances. judging whether or not the contact was harmful is pretty straightforward.

in determining whether there was intent, you look to what the DEFENDANT was thinking (what was in his head? did he have substantial certainty he was going to cause contac ?)

When looking for substantial certainty of knowledge you also should ask the much maligned (by one person  ::)) reasonable person question.  Should a reasonable defendant have know to a substantial certainty that his action would result in a harmful touching...