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Author Topic: Intentional Torts question  (Read 3747 times)

_retired_

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2005, 11:33:55 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.

More muddling and confusion.  You ask what a reasonable person, in light of the circumstances, would find offensive.  Its really very simple.  For example, you cant be that one lone baseball player who is sensitive about having his ass slapped in the duggout.  Unless of course, you gave clear notice that you find such contact offensive.

LibertyBell

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2005, 11:43:58 PM »
<we are mixing cases here, in the case with the little kid yanking the chair, the reasonable person didn't factor in.  The judge ordered the lower court to ask the child about his knowledge to determine if he knew that she would fall.  This doens't matter for what we are talking about, but it limits me to saying what I think rather than what a professer said directly... fyi>

I guess I wasn't clear with the distinction that I was trying to ask about.  The child's intent came from the fact that he understood that by pulling the chair, there was significant certainty that the woman would fall to the ground.  So the knowledge was that she would fall and make contact.  There didn't need to be any knowledge of the effect of the contact.

In otherwords, the reasonable person would think that yanking the chair would result in a person falling to the ground...

That is the way I understood it anyway.



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.



naomi288

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2005, 02:01:48 AM »
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. 


i am not disupted the context in which the contact occurs, however, a regardless of consent, you can expect that a reasonable perosn would expec there to be contact in a football game just as the holding in the case in which the child kicked the othe student in cclass, if it had happened on the playground would have been a different story with implied consent
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.

you must obvously take into account the contextual setting, but isn't that what a reasonable person would feel was offensive of harmful in the setting? obviously hitting the quarterback in the back of the head would be considered not offensive or harmful in the context of playing a football game, this is taken into consideration when deciding if a reasonable person would find the contact such, i don't see your point, the context is taken into account,you can say that a reasonable person would assume implied consent when entering into a football game, but that is still what a reasonale person would consider, implied consent is based upon what a reasonable person would expect
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naomi288

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2005, 02:06:16 AM »
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.



the issue in this case is intent, and the court held that the child had knowledge intent, in which he knew that his actions would result in a contact, it did have anything to do with whether or not the contact was offensive or harmful
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lipper

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2005, 10:32:50 PM »
u guys are seriously making this into a harder issue than it is.
check the footnotes ya'll

monimone2

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2005, 04:12:20 PM »
Battery, as I have learned it, requires: an intentional touching that results in a harm or offense.  The intentional touching can be described as the intent to harm or intent to offend.  The caveat to this rule of course is the substantial certainty test.  Jackson Smith, the standard in which your professor is applying seems to be a more strict form of battery that is used by Colorado where intent to harm or offend is required.  I think?  We've been taught that an intentional touching is required.

cascagrossa

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2005, 04:51:17 PM »
intent to harm is not required.  intent to make 1)offensive or harmful 2)contact that causes the harm is required.

uncertainty arises when you try to determine what constitutes "offensive or harmful" contact.  this is where the whole "reasonable man" thing comes in to play and where annoying lawyers have room to argue.

looking back to vosburg, the court ruled that if the touching had occured on the playground it probably would not have been "unlawful" and putney wouldnt have been liable for battery.  in that situation, the touching wouldnt have been offensive, but in the classroom it was.  putney is liable because he intended to make contact, and that contact was offensive.  whether he intended the harm that resulted is irrelevant.

if you shake someone's hand at a reception and fracture some bones because of some pre-existing bone disease that you had no knowledge of, you wouldnt be liable for battery.  you had no intent to cause harm, and while you did intend to make that contact, it would not be considered an offensive touching by a reasonable person considering the circumstances.

monimone2

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2005, 06:12:33 PM »
It depends on the jurisdiction that you are in that will determine whether or not intent to harm or offend is required.  Colorado has a more strict interpretation of what constitutes a battery thus requires an intent to harm.  CO standard is:  Intentional touching + Intent to harm/offend + harm or offense = battery.  The more common interpretation of battery does not require intent to harm or offend.  The more common standard is:  Intentional touching + harm or offense = battery.  At least that is what we are taught at UF Law. ???

Go with what your tort professor says but understand the differences of opinion. 

cascagrossa

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2005, 06:20:57 PM »
how the hell do you prove intent to cause harm??  except for a few obvious scenarios, it seems like a very hard task.

_retired_

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Re: Intentional Torts question
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2005, 06:25:42 PM »
Um, I put a gun to your head and pull the trigger.  The gun goes off.


Case closed