Chapter 5 Civil Law & Procedure Private Injuries v. Public Offenses

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Chapter 5 Civil Law & Procedure Private Injuries v. Public Offenses Intentional Torts, Negligence, and Strict Liability Civil Procedure

Private Injuries v. Public Offenses How do Crimes and torts differ? A crime is an offense against society. A tort is an offense against an individual.

Explain why one person may be responsible for another’s tort When a person is responsible for another person’s tort, the liability is called vicarious liability. Parents may be liable if they give their children “dangerous instrumentalities” such as guns, without proper instruction. A parent may also be held liable for their children’s continuing dangerous habits. If a child continues to throw rocks at trains and vehicles, the parents may be liable if they fail to stop the child’s behavior.

What are the four elements of a tort? Duty Violation of Duty Injury Causation


Tort – an act that causes private injury to the person or property of anther. Torts may be broadly classified as: Intentional torts Negligence Strict liability The most common tort is negligence. Generally every individual is personally responsible for damage resulting from ay tort committed by him or her. Employers are liable for the torts of their employees if the torts are committed within the scope of the employees’ employment.

Damages A monetary award by the court to a person who has suffered loss or injury because of the act or omission of another. Master-servant rule Holds the master (employer) liable for the conduct of the servant (employee).

Negligence The tort in which only carelessness and not intent is required in the breaching of a duty. Respondeat superior The principal/employer is accountable for the acts of its agent/employee.

Negligence Negligence is unintentional tort which occurs when a person’s failure to use reasonable care causes harm. Some examples of negligent conduct: Examples: a. A city employee working on a manhole forgets to replace the cover and a pedestrian falls in and is injured. b. A surgeon forgets a medical tool in a patient’s body while operating and stitches the patient up.

Negligence In some states, if the injured person was also negligent and the negligence contributed to the injury, the person may be barred from recovering damages,

By law, what duties do you have with the respect to the rights of others? By law, each person has certain duties related to respecting the rights of others. Those duties are: 1) the duty not to injure another 2) the duty not to interfere with the property rights of others 3) the duty not to interfere with the economic rights of others.

What does the “reasonableperson standard” for negligence means? Means that a person must act with care, prudence (discretion), and good judgment of a reasonable person so as not to cause injury to others. Acting carelessly or recklessly will be considered a tort if injury to another is caused.

Intentional Torts, Negligence, and Strict Liability

Vocabulary Terms Intentional torts Torts in which the defendant possessed the intent or purpose to inflict the resultant injury. Assault The tort that occurs when one person intentionally threatens as to physically or offensively injure another.

Vicarious liability When a person is responsible for another person’s tort the liability. Battery The tort that occurs when one person intentionally touches another in a harmful or offensive way.

False imprisonment The tort that occurs when one person deprives another person of freedom of movement without the person’s consent and without privilege. Defamation The tort that occurs when one person makes a false statement that injures the reputation of another.

Invasion of privacy The tort that occurs when one person intrudes into another’s private life in an unwelcome and unlawful manner so as to cause outrage, mental suffering, or humiliation Trespass to land The tort that occurs when one person enters onto the property of another without the owner’s consent

Conversion The tort that occurs when one person steals, destroys, or uses the property of another in a manner inconsistent with the owner’s rights Fraud The tort that occurs when one person intentionally misrepresents an existing important fact thereby causing financial injury

Strict liability Liability that exists even though the defendant was not negligent. Statutes of repose Sometimes called “nonclaim statues”; cut off the right to sue for defects in design and manufacturing of products after a certain time after manufacture or sale.

What is the difference between assault and battery? Assault occurs when one person intentionally puts another in reasonable fear of an offensive or harmful bodily contact. The threat can be made with words or gestures. Battery occurs when there is an intentional breach of the duty ot refrain from harmful or offensive touching of another person. An assault often precedes a battery.

What are some examples of invasion of privacy? Invasion of privacy occurs when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy has that privacy violated. Examples: hiding a camera in a public bathroom, eavesdropping on private conversations, opening another’s letters

What is the duty imposed by negligence? The general duty imposed by negligence law is the reasonable-person standard. This duty requires a person to act with the care, prudence, and good judgment of a reasonable person so as not to cause injury to others.

What are the common intentional torts? (9) assault invasion of privacy battery trespass to land false imprisonment conversion defamation interference with contractual relations fraud

What are the elements of negligence? Negligence is the most common tort. Intent to injure is not required for negligence to occur. Negligence is determined through the recognition of a duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and injury.

What are the basis for strict liability? The law can hold a person liable in torts on the basis of absolute liability. This liability exists even though the defendant was not negligent. Examples of strict liability would be engaging in abnormally dangerous activities, ownership of dangerous animals, and the sale of goods that are unreasonably dangerous.

Civil Procedure

Vocabulary Injunction A court order for a person to do or not to do a specific act. Compensatory damages The sum of the injured party’s lost wages, doctor fees, and a monetary amount to compensate for the injured party’s pain and suffering

Punitive damages A type of damages generally only awarded in intentional tort cases; meant to punish the person who inflicted the injury. Plaintiff The party that files the complain with a court.

Complaint Allegations made by the plaintiff which detail the injury he or she has received at the hands of the defendant. Summons A court order to appear in court and answer the complaint

Answer a legal document containing the defendant’s responses to the complaint’s Discovery The process of taking sworn statements from parties and witnesses; conducting physical exams of the parties; and may also include sending interrogatories to involved parties.

Evidence Anything that a judge allows to be presented to the jury that helps to prove or disprove the alleged facts. Testimony Statements made be witnesses under oath.

Witness someone who has personal knowledge of the facts Subpoena a written order by the judge commanding a witness to appear in court to give testimony.

Verdict The jury’s decision in a trial Judgment The final results of a trial rendered by a judge.

What is the difference between compensatory and punitive damages? Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured for the loss. When a tort is intentional, punitive damages may also be awarded as punishment for the person who committed the tort.

Distinguish between evidence and testimony. Evidence is anything presented to the jury to help prove or disprove the alleged facts. Evidence may be documents, records, weapons, photographs, and other objects, as well as testimony. Testimony, therefore, is one kind of evidence.

How can a judgment be enforced if the dependent will not pay. A plaintiff may obtain a writ of execution if a defendant does not pay a judgment. The court directs that the defendant’s property be seized or sold and the proceeds used to pay the judgment.

What damages are available to victims of torts? The injured parties in torts are awarded damages, which may be compensatory (money) s well as punitive (disciplinary).

What are the stages of a civil suit? 1. Begins with the selection of a jury, if one is being used. 2. Then, attorneys make opening statements, 3. The plaintiff then represents their evidence, followed by the defendant. 4. Attorneys for each side gives a closing statement 5. Judge consults with attorneys, and gives instructions to jury. 6. After deliberation, jury reaches verdict. 7. Judge renders a judgment 8. Final results of trial. 9. After a civil suit judgment, the case may be appealed or there may need to be a processes for collecting the damages.

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