1. Tort Law

Tort Law

Playlist: 27 Videos: 65 Minutes



Topics: Learning Material

Introduction to Torts
Tort law generally encompasses situations where an individual’s conduct causes harm to another. Torts are specific causes of action against individuals when a recognized statutory or common law right is violated. It is distinct from civil actions involving contract or family law. This chapter explores tort law and specific causes of action in tort. Specifically, it explains the three categories of tort — intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability torts — and the elements necessary for establishing liability under each. Lastly, it explains the types of damages available to plaintiff’s injured by a defendant’s tortious conduct and the defenses available to a defendant. For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Tort Law (Intro)

What are “Torts”?
  • a “legal wrong”

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are "torts"?

What are the Types of Torts?
  • Intentional Torts
  • Negligence
  • Strict Liability

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are the types of torts?

What are International Torts?
  • purpose behind their actions
  • appreciation of the likely or probable results of those actions.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are "Intentional Torts"?

What is “Assault and Battery”?

Assault - apprehension of a harmful or offensive physical contact.

Battery - A battery is an illegal touching of another - harmful or offensive

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Assault and Battery?

What is “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Battery to the emotions.
  • Intentional conduct
  • Strong probability of causing mental distress to recipient.
  • Must be very extreme or outrageous in nature

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Intentional Infliction of Emotions Distress?

What is “Invasion of Privacy”?
  • Use of Name or Likeness
  • Invade Physical Solitude
  • Disclosure of Private Information

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Invasion of Privacy?

What is “False Imprisonment”?
  • Wrongful detention of a person without that person’s consent.
  • Does not have to involve actual physical force.
  • Reasonably believe cannot leave without unjust repercussions.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see False Imprisonment?

What is “Malicious Prosecution”?
  • Wrongfully subjecting someone to the prosecutorial process.
  • False swearing or pretenses.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Malicious Prosecution?

What is “Trespass”?
  • Entering into someone else’s land
  • Without consent or remaining there after being asked to leave.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Trespass?

What is “Conversion”?
  • Wrongful deprivation of property
  • May be temporary or permanent

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Conversion?

What is “Defamation”?
  • Publication
  • Untrue statement
  • Subject character or reputation to contempt and ridicule.
  • Types of Defamation

Slander

Libel

Disparagement

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Defamation?

Defenses to Defamation Claims
  • Truth
  • Privilege Communication

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Defenses to Defamation?

Defamation and the 1st Amendment
  • Cannot suppress freedom of press
  • Must show “malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth.”

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Defamation and 1st Amendment Considerations?

What is “Fraud”?
  • Intentional misrepresentation
  • Material fact
  • Justifiably relied upon
  • Causes injury.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Fraud?

What is “Intentional Interference with Contractual or Economic Relations?”
  • Common law rather than statute.
  • Disparagement
  • Interference with Contractual Relations
  • Interference with Perspective Advantage
  • Wrongful Appropriation of Business Interests

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations?

What is “Negligence”?
  • Unreasonable behavior that causes injury to another.
  • Elements of Negligence

⁃ Duty

⁃ Unreasonable behavior

⁃ Causation in fact

⁃ Proximate causation

⁃ Injury

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is "Negligence"?

Negligence – the Duty of Care
  • Obligation to act or not act in a certain manner

⁃ Standard of care.

  • Arises pursuant to conduct or status (relationship).

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Negligence - A Duty of Care?

Negligence – Breach of Duty of Care
  • Conduct that is not reasonable in circumstances (based on duty)

⁃ Below standard of care.

⁃ Mixed question of law and fact.

  • Inaction as Unreasonable Behavior
  • Gross Negligence, Reckless and Wanton Behavior
  • Res Ipsa Loquitur and Negligence Per Se

For further information on these concepts, and further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Negligence - Breach of Duty of Care?

Negligence – Proximate Causation
  • Harm is reasonably foreseeable as a result of the plaintiff’s conduct.
  • Cannot be too far removed or tenuous.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Causation?

Negligence – Cause in Fact
  • “but for” the act of the defendant, would the injury have occurred?
  • Substantial, material factor in bringing about an injury.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Cause-in-Fact

Common Defenses to Negligence Actions
  • Contributory Negligence
  • Comparative Negligence
  • Assumption of the Risk

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are common defenses to negligence actions?

What is “Strict Liability?”
  • Legal responsibility without intent or negligence.
  • All that is required is physical act

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is "Strict Liability"?

Examples of Strict Liability Causes of Action
  • Commercial sale of defective products.
  • Unreasonably dangerous defective product
  • Production Defects
  • Design Defects

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Strict Liability Causes of Action - Examples

What is “Strict Product Liability”?
  • Ultrahazardous Activity
  • Dram Shop Acts
  • Common Carriers

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Strict Products Liability

Defenses to Strict Product Liability
  • Assumption of the risk may- maybe.
  • Misuse of a product
  • Reasonableness standard for design defects, failure to warn, and testing inadequacies - Reasonableness (Some states)

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What defenses exist to strict product liability actions?

What are “Compensatory Damages”?
  • Used to compensate the plaintiff for an injury suffered.
  • Make the plaintiff whole again.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are compensatory damages?

What are “Punitive Damages”?
  • Used to punish defendants
  • Applicable when “gross” negligence or “willful and wanton.”

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are punitive damages?


Flash Card - Study Practice

Q1
A ___________, in the legal context, means a civil wrong, as apposed to a breach of contract or other civil action.

Q2
___________ are characterized by the mental intent of the tortfeasor.

Q3
A(n) ___________________ is a tortious activity with either the desire to bring about an intended result or with the knowledge that the result is “substantially certain”.

Q4
______________ is tortious conduct by an individual that drops below a reasonable standard of care and causes harm to another person.

Q5
Individual have a duty to act reasonably when interacting with others. True or False

Q6
_________ subjects an individual to liability for activity that causes harm to another without regard for her intent or the standard of care she shows in carrying out that activity.

Q7
___________ is acting to place another person in immediate apprehension of a harmful or offensive physical contact.

Q8
Which of the following is/are (an) element(s) of the tort of assault?

A8
Intentional Act; Individual must apprehend contact; The contact must be offensive or harmful

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/assault-and-battery/

Q9
____________ is an illegal touching of another that is harmful or offensive and done without justification and without the consent of the person touched.

Q10
_____________ is a form of battery to the emotions caused by intentional conduct that causes mental distress to the person at whom it is directed.

A10
intentional infliction of mental distress

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress/

Q11
Invasion of privacy is comprised of the following type(s) of invasion of personal interest:

A11
Use of Name or Likeness; Invasion of Physical Solitude; Disclosure of Private Information

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/invasion-of-privacy/

Q12
Appropriating an individual’s name or likeness for business use without her consent violates her property rights. True or False

Q13
Individuals have an expectation of privacy in their home and within other personal spaces. Viewing or monitoring such places is an _________________.

A13
Invasion of Physical Solitude

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/invasion-of-privacy/

Q14
Disclosure of highly-objectionable, private information about a person by an individual who owes a duty of confidentiality to the individual is an __________.

A14
invasion of privacy

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/invasion-of-privacy/

Q15
___________ is the wrongful detention of a person without that person’s consent.

A15
False imprisonment

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/false-imprisonment/

Q16
Detention that constitutes wrongful imprisonment MUST involve physical force to be actionable.

A16
False - the use of force is no necessary

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/false-imprisonment/

Q17
For an individual to be wrongfully detained, she must reasonably believe that she cannot leave the detention _____________.

A17
without unjust repercussions

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/false-imprisonment/

Q18
_______________ is wrongfully subjecting someone to the prosecutorial process.

A18
Malicious prosecution

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/malicious-prosecution/

Q19
_______________ is a tort often arises from causing someone to be arrested or formally charged through intentional false swearing or malevolent pretenses.

A19
Malicious prosecution

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/malicious-prosecution/

Q20
The tort of ____________ involves physically entering onto someone else’s land without consent or remaining there after being asked to leave (consent is revoked).

A20

Q21
______________ is a civil cause of action for taking another person’s property without her consent.

A21

Q22
Conversion entails the wrongful exercise of dominion (power) and control over ______________.

A22
the personal (non-land) Resource of someone else

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/conversion/

Q23
For the tort of conversation, the deprivation may be temporary or permanent. But, it must constitute a SERIOUS invasion of the owner’s legal rights. True or False

Q24
______________ is the publication of an untrue statement about another that subjects that individual’s character or reputation to contempt or ridicule.

A24

Q25
For purposes of a defamation action, “Publication” of a statement to another person simply means that the untruthful statement was:

A25
Was told or made known to at least one other person.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defamation/

Q26
Which of the following is/are (a) type(s) of defamation?

A26
Slander; Libel; Disparagement

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defamation/

Q27
Which of the following is/are (a) recognized defense(s) to a defamation claim.

A27
The statement is true; The communication is privileged under the law

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-defamation-actions/

Q28
The media is not liable for the defamatory untruths they print unless the plaintiff can prove the untruths were published with:

A28
“malice” (evil intent that is the deliberate intent to injure); “reckless disregard for the truth.”

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defamation-and-1st-amendment-considerations/

Q29
For a celebrity or public figure to recover for defamation, she must demonstrate that the defendant defamed her with ____________.

A29
malice or with reckless disregard for the truth

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defamation-and-1st-amendment-considerations/

Q30
____________ is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact that is justifiably relied upon by someone to his or her injury.

Q31
In a fraud action, the false statement inducing the other party’s misunderstanding must regard a ___________ about the prospective transaction.

A31
material fact

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/fraud/

Q32
____________ often involves intentional misrepresentations regarding ownership of property or one’s financial status.

Q33
Which of the following is/are (an) example(s) of the tort intentional interference with economic relations:

A33
Disparagement; Interference with Contractual Relations; Interference with Perspective Advantage; Wrongful Appropriation of Business Interests

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/intentional-interference-with-economic-relations/

Q34
________________ is an untrue statement about someone’s business acumen, product, or service.

Q35
________________ is a tort that occurs when a non-party to a contract knowingly induces a party to the contract to fail to honor or breach the agreement.

A35
Interference with Contractual Relations

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/intentional-interference-with-economic-relations/

Q36
________________ is a cause of action entails a situation in which there is a business relationship between the plaintiff and a third part, and the defendant then acts in a way intended to disrupt the relationship.

A36
Interference with Perspective Advantage

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/intentional-interference-with-economic-relations/

Q37
________________ is a tort that arises when a fiduciary breaches the duty of loyalty and appropriates someone else’s intellectual property rights, such as patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, or good will.

A37
Wrongful Appropriation of Business Interests

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/intentional-interference-with-economic-relations/

Q38
_____________ is unreasonable behavior that causes injury to another person or business.

Q39
Which of the following elements make(s) up a claim for negligence:

A39
existence of a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff; unreasonable behavior by the defendant that breaches the duty of care; causation in fact; proximate causation; an actual injury

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/negligence-actions/

Q40
In a negligence action, a legal duty generally arises pursuant ____________, such as assuming a position of authority, control, or other special relationship with someone.

A40
one’s conduct, position, or activity

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/duty-of-care-negligence/

Q41
Any form of activity in the presence of or otherwise affecting a third party gives rise to a duty of care. True or False

Q42
In a negligence action, which of the following are special relationships between individuals that may give rise to a legal duty of care?

A42
parent-child, doctor-patient, attorney-client

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/duty-of-care-negligence/

Q43
For purposes of negligence, once a legal duty is established, the individual owing the duty must demonstrate _________________ in her actions.

A43
reasonable care and skill

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/duty-of-care-negligence/

Q44
Demonstrating ___________________ means that an individual must act reasonably in a given situation (based upon the nature of the duty owed) to avoid causing harm to those to whom she owes a duty.

A44
reasonable care and skill

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/duty-of-care-negligence/

Q45
______________ entails unreasonable behavior that breaches the duty of care that the defendant owes to the Plaintiff.

Q46
In a negligence action, the standard of care that one person owes to another is known as the _____________ standard.

Q47
The duty of care exists under the law, but the determination of what is reasonable is up to ____________.

A47
The jury (or finder of fact).

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q48
In determining whether conduct is unreasonable, a court will consider _____________

A48
“the likelihood that the defendant’s conduct will injure others, taken with the seriousness of the injury if it happens, and balanced against the interest which he must sacrifice to avoid the risk.”

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q49
Notably, the reasonable person standard of care is an objective standard based upon the ___________

A49
nature of the relationship and the subjective characteristics of the plaintiff.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q50
In a negligence action, inaction by a person may constitute unreasonable behavior. True or False

Q51
In a negligence action, an individual incurs an affirmative duty to act reasonably to avoid harm to the other person in the following circumstance(s):

A51
When a special relationship exists; When one individual causes the risk of harm to the other person, that

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q52
A person can be found negligent for falling below a reasonable standard of care, which includes:

A52
Simple negligence; Gross negligence; Recklessness

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q53
Negligence generally entails a simple failure to meet the standard of care owed to others, known as __________.

A53
Simple negligence; Gross Negligence; Recklessness

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q54
_______________ is a severe departure from the standard of care owed to another person

Q55
_______________ demonstrates a complete disregard for the potentially harmful consequences of one’s conduct.

A55
“Reckless” behavior

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/breach-of-duty-of-care/

Q56
________________ posits that in some situations the very nature of the accident or situation indicates that conduct of the defendant was negligent.

Q57
________________ posits that a failure to meet a standard or guideline, often established by a statute or regulation, means an individual is negligent without examining whether the individual’s conduct in the situation was reasonable.

Q58
______________ presents the question, “but for” the act of the defendant, would the injury have occurred?

Q59
To determine ___________, the jury must determine whether the defendant’s conduct is a “substantial, material factor in bringing about the injury”.

Q60
_____________ means that the harm suffered by the defendant was reasonably foreseeable as a result of the plaintiff’s conduct.

A60
Proximate causation

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/causation/

Q61
For an injury to be the ______________, the plaintiff must be one whom the defendant could reasonably expect to be injured by a negligence act.

A61
Proximate causation

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/causation/

Q62
Jurisdictions commonly recognize the following principle defense(s) to negligence actions:

A62
Contributory Negligence, Comparative Negligence, Assumption of the Risk

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q63
___________ is a doctrine that bars a plaintiff’s recovery in a negligence action if her own fault contributed to the injury “in any degree, however slight.”

A63
Contributory Negligence

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q64
___________ compares the degree of fault assessable against the defendant with that assessable against the plaintiff.

A64
Comparative negligence

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q65
___________ states that the plaintiff can only recover the percentage of damages not attributable to her own fault.

A65
Pure comparative negligence

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q66
___________ states that the plaintiff cannot recover if her negligence is greater than (or “as great as” in some jurisdictions) the negligence of the defendant.

A66
Modified Comparative Negligence

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q67
___________ arises when the plaintiff knowingly and willfully undertakes an activity made dangerous by the negligence of another.

A67
Assumption of the risk

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q68
___________ entails situations in which the plaintiff identifies a potentially harmful situation brought about by the defendant’s conduct, understands the risk associated with the situation, and proceeds to voluntarily expose herself to this risk of harm.

A68
Assumption of the risk

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/defenses-to-negligence/

Q69
____________ concerns an individual’s legal liability for injury-causing behavior that is neither intentional nor negligent.

A69

Q70
Injuries caused by _____________ activities are subject to Strict liability in most states.

A70
working with explosives, dangerous animals, product design or manufacturing, and serving alcohol to the public

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/strict-liability/

Q71
_____________ involves the commercial sale of defective products.

A71
Strict products liability

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/strict-product-liability/

Q72
Strict products liability applies to any retail, wholesale, or manufacturer who sells an _____________.

A72
unreasonably dangerous, defective product that causes injury to a user

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/strict-product-liability/

Q73
___________ applies to commercial sellers who normally sell products like the one causing injury or who place them in the stream of commerce, such as suppliers of defective parts and companies that assemble a defective product.

A73
Strict products liability

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/strict-product-liability/

Q74
For purposes of strict liability, what type(s) of defect(s) are actionable?

A74
Production Defects; Design Defects

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/strict-product-liability/

Q75
A __________ occurs when products are not manufactured to a manufacturer’s own standards.

Q76
A ___________ occurs when a product is manufactured according to the manufacturer’s standards but is an unsafe design.

Q77
Most states recognize the following types of conduct as subject to strict liability:

A77
Ultrahazardous Activity, Dram Shop Acts, Common Carrier Activity

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/examples-of-strict-liability-actions/

Q78
Which of the following is/are generally NOT recognized as (a) defense(s) to strict product liability?

Q79
________________ are damages used to compensate the plaintiff for an injury suffered and to make the plaintiff whole again.

A79
Compensatory damages

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/compensatory-damages/

Q80
_______________ may include financial loss, pain and suffering, decreased life expectancy, loss of enjoyment, and loss of life or limb.

A80
Compensatory damages

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/compensatory-damages/

Q81
__________________ are used to punish defendants for committing intentional torts and for negligent behavior considered “gross” or “willful and wanton.”

A81
Punitive damages

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/tort-damages/

Q82
The key consideration in the award of punitive damages is whether a defendant’s motive must be malicious, fraudulent, or evil. True or False

Q83
Punitive damages may be awarded for dangerously negligent or reckless conduct that shows a conscious disregard for the interests of others. True or False



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