Torts Professor Tricia Zunker, Esq. MGT 320 Colorado State University-Global Campus
What is a Tort? A tort is a civil wrong committed by one individual against another. There are several types of torts: intentional torts, privacy torts, negligence and strict liability torts.
Elements of a Tort Each tort is divided into something called “elements.” The plaintiff must prove each element in a tort by applying a fact from his or her situation to the element.
Intentional Torts Intentional torts occur where the defendant intended the result of the tortious conduct. Some intentional torts include: Assault Battery False Imprisonment Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Trespass to Land Trespass to Chattels Conversion
Battery Battery is the intent to cause harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff’s person.
Assault Assault is the intent to cause plaintiff in apprehension of an immediate battery.
False Imprisonment False imprisonment is an act of restraint resulting in confinement in a bounded area without justification. Exception: Shopkeeper’s privilege. Business owner may detain suspected shoplifter for a reasonable period of time.
Intentional Infliction ofEmotional Distress (IIED) IIED is extreme and outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another person. The conduct is measured objectively.
Trespass to Land Intentional physical invasion to land without a legal excuse.
Trespass to Chattels Unlawful taking or harming of personal property of another without consent. “Chattels” is legal terminology for personal property.
Conversion Conversion is similar to trespass to chattels but the harm to property and damages to owner is more severe. It is the civil tort of stealing property from another person.
Defamation Defamatory statements, of or concerning the plaintiff, published to a third person resulting in damages. “Published” in the legal sense means communicated to another individual. It does not require actual literal publication. Two types of defamation Slander: spoken defamation Libel: written or printed defamation
Privacy Torts Invasion of privacy torts are also intentional torts. These torts are an intrusion into the personal life of another without legal justification. They include: Misappropriation Intrusion False Light Disclosure
Misappropriation Misappropriation occurs from using another’s name, likeness or identifying characteristics for commercial advantage without his or her permission. Plaintiff must show his or her name was used as a trademark, in an advertisement or in packaging.
Intrusion Intrusion is an invasion by the defendant of plaintiff’s seclusion in a manner objectionable to the average person. Plaintiff must have a reasonable expectation of privacy to make this claim.
False Light In false light, the defendant makes a widespread dissemination of a major misrepresentation of plaintiff’s activities or beliefs that would be objectionable to the average person. This is similar to defamation, but broader.
Disclosure Public disclosure of private facts is a widespread dissemination of confidential information.
Negligence Negligence occurs where defendant breaches a duty owed to plaintiff, causing damages. Elements of Negligence: Duty of due care Breach of duty Causation (actual cause and proximate cause) Damages
Defenses to Negligence Contributory Negligence: plaintiff contributed in some way to her injury. Assumption of Risk: plaintiff appreciated the risk and proceeded in the face of the risk of danger. Comparative Negligence: plaintiff is partially at fault but still receives an amount of award.
Strict Liability For strict liability, liability is imposed in certain situations without regard to fault of due care. The defendant owes an absolute duty to plaintiff.
Products Liability A claim for products liability can be brought under the following theories: Intent Negligence Strict Liability Implied Warranty Theories Representation Theories
Type of Defect For a products liability claim, the plaintiff has to show the product was defective. There are three types of defects: Manufacturing defect Design defect Inadequate warnings
Implied Warranty Theories Implied Warranty of Merchantability Goods must be of average acceptable quality and are generally fit for the ordinary purpose for which they goods are used. Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose Seller knows or has reason to know or the particular purpose for which the goods are required and that buyer is relying on the seller’s skill and judgment in selecting the goods.
Representation Theories Express Warranty Any affirmation of fact or a promise concerning the goods that becomes a basis for the bargain. Misrepresentation Statement by seller to buyer that was a material fact concerning the quality or use of good and the seller intended to induce reliance with the misrepresentation.
Any Questions? Contact: Tricia.Zunker@csuglobal.edu