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Intentional Torts


There are many intentional statutory and common law torts. The essence of an intentional tort is the intent to undertake an action that has a highly probability of causing a harmful result. That is, the result of an intentional action is some form of harm (physical, mental, or financial) to another person or property. It does not matter whether the individual committing the tort (the tortfeasor) fully understands the nature of extent of the harm that may result. The individual simply needs to undertake an action that has some likelihood of resulting in a potentially harmful result.

  • Example: Mark throws a pine cone at Walt, who is not looking. Mark throws the pine with the understanding that it will contact Walt. This is an intentional action that could result in a harm to Walt. If the pine cone hits Walt in the eye and causes a loss of vision, this is an intentional tort. It doesn’t matter if Mark did not expect the damage to be so severe. The results of throwing a hard object are readily foreseeable.
  • Note: Some of the more common intentional torts are also crimes.

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