This part of a hypo given by my torts professor.
Slamming down the receiver, Angie screamed "I've had it with you, and Im going to get you!". John sat stunned at his secretary station outisde Angie's office. She had been angry at him before, John thought, but never this angry. John was terrified, he decided to call security.
Before John could call security, Angie's door swung open. Scowling, she headed for John, carrying a heavy stack of filesin her hands. She held the files as she approached John, and prepared to slam them down on John's desk for filing. John, however, was sure Angie was going to slam the files on his head. To avoid the result, John quickly dropped under his desk.
Angie, still holding the files, realized what had happened and laughed. "Im not going to get you now. Youll regret your behavior. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life. Now file these." She slammed the files down on the desk, just above John's head, and walked away. John had heard what Angie said, but was shocked by the sudden crack of the files slamming on the desk. His head jolted upward, striking hte metal underside of the desk.
Discuss the claims for John v. Angie for battery and assault
Firstly, I believe John has a good claim for assault. Angie should have been substantially certain that her screaming at John from her office and scowling while coming out at him with a heavy stack of files would cause an apprehension of offensive/harmful contact, particularly considering that she has been "angry" in the past.
I am unsure about the battery. Under transferred intent, the intent from the assault would transfer to a battery (when John hit his head). But the problem is that the contact did not occur until after Angie had explained that she wasn't going to hurt him, at least not until until the future. And future threats do not count as an assault. So basically, I am concerned with the fact that the real assault, of Angie coming out with the files only caused John to go under his desk. The contact was caused, however, by the stack of files hitting his desk, scaring him. But by this time Angie had explained to him what she said and I doubt she had substantial certainty that he would hit his head by her dropping the files on the desk. So I would say he wouldn't have a claim for battery, even under transferred intent.
what do you guys think?