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Author Topic: Tortious Intent  (Read 1325 times)

marcus-aurelius

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Tortious Intent
« on: September 10, 2010, 04:28:06 PM »
I want to make sure I understand intent correctly. So let me know if I have it correct.

If I am throwing a tennis ball against the wall, and someone walks around the corner of the building and is touched by the ball, I am not liable for assault nor battery for I had no tortious intent.

If I throw a ball into a crowd and it hits someone, I had the requisite intent for there was a substantial certainty that someone would be touched by the ball, correct?

sethc

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Re: Tortious Intent
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 07:14:43 PM »
That's the way I understand it.

If you're throwing a ball against a wall, and you're in a completely empty gymnasium or other area with no one around, and it hits someone, there's no tortious intent because you could not reasonably foresee the ball would hit anyone, so A&B would be barred.

What you said about throwing it in a crowd is spot on.

At least, the way I understand all of this anyway.

kenpostudent

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Re: Tortious Intent
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 10:19:11 AM »
That's the way I understand it.

If you're throwing a ball against a wall, and you're in a completely empty gymnasium or other area with no one around, and it hits someone, there's no tortious intent because you could not reasonably foresee the ball would hit anyone, so A&B would be barred.

What you said about throwing it in a crowd is spot on.

At least, the way I understand all of this anyway.
Foreseeability is a negligence concept. Intent requires either knowledge with substantial certainty that an action will result in harm or purpose to do harm. The ways to establish intent are: 1. knowledge with substantial certainty 2. Purpose to do harm (or no viable purpose for the act other than to do harm, i.e. shooting into the side of a moving train) 3. Lack of consent (medical or sexual assault cases) 4. Inference from actions 5. Transferred Intent.

You cannot have assault or battery without an intent to cause harm or offense; so, throwing the ball at a wall in an empty gymnasium does not reflect an intent to do harm to anyone.

Morten Lund

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Re: Tortious Intent
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 12:34:02 PM »
An actual legal question?  Ugh.

If I need to know this, I will call an associate.

:P

marcus-aurelius

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Re: Tortious Intent
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 05:53:19 PM »
I'll volunteer my services in 4 years  :D