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BUS 131 Chapter 6 Notes

by: Whitney Davis

BUS 131 Chapter 6 Notes BUS 131 - 010

Whitney Davis
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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About this Document

An outline of chapter 6
Business Law I
Dr. Slamon
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Whitney Davis on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BUS 131 - 010 at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Slamon in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Business Law I in Business at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Created: 02/12/16
Chapter 6: Torts The Basis of Tort Law  Designed to compensate those who’ve suffered a loss/injury due to another person’s wrongful act  Two notions: wrongs and compensation  Purpose of Tort Law o To provide remedies for violation of various protected interests o Provides remedies for acts causing physical injury o Provides remedies for acts interfering with physical security and freedom of movement  Damages Available in Tort Act o Compensatory Damages  To compensate or reimburse plaintiff for actual losses  Goal: to make plaintiff whole and put her/him in same position she/he would be if tort did not occur o Punitive Damages  To punish wrongdoer and deter others from similar wrongdoing  Appropriate only when defendant’s conduct was reprehensible  Tort Reform o A system that disproportionately rewards few plaintiffs while imposing “tort tax” on business and society as a whole o Types of Reforms  Limiting amount of both punitive and general damages that can be awarded  Capping amount that attorneys can collect in contingency fees  Requires losing party to pay both plaintiff’s and defendant’s expenses o Federal Reform  Class Action Farness Act (CAFA) of 2005  Shifted jurisdiction over large interstate tort and product liability class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts  Class action is lawsuit which large number of plaintiffs bring suit as a group  Product liability suits involve the manufacture, sale, and distribution of dangerous/defective goods o State Reforms  Classification of Torts o Intentional o Unintentional  Defenses o Reasons why plaintiff should not obtain damages o Consent  No liability o Comparative negligence o Successful defense releases defendant from partial/full liability for tortious act Intentional Torts against Persons  Requires intent  Tortfeasor o The one committing the tort o Must intend to commit an act o Evil or harmful motive is not required  Intent o Person intended consequences of his/her act, or knew with substantial certainty that specific consequences would result from the act  Transferred intent o When a defendant intends to harm one individual, but unintentionally harms a second person  Assault o Any intentional and unexcused threat of immediate harmful or offensive contact  Words or acts creating reasonably believable threat  Battery o An unexcused and harmful/offensive physical contact intentionally performed o no physical injury necessary  False Imprisonment o The intentional confinement or restraint of another person’s activities without justification o Interferes with freedom to move without restraint  Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress o An intentional act that amounts to extreme and outrageous conduct resulting in severe emotional distress to another o Actionable  Ac must be extreme and outrageous to the point it exceeds bounds of decency accepted by society o Outrageous conduct o Limited by First Amendment  Limits emotional distress claims  Defamation o Wrongfully hurting a person’s good reputation o Libel  Defamation in writing or other forms having the quality of performance o Slander  Defamation in oral form o Statement-of-Fact Requirement  Whether defendant made a statement of fact or statement of opinion o Publication Requirement  Defamatory statements are communicated to persons other than the defamed party o Damages for Libel o Damages for Slander o Slander per se  Actionable with no proof of special damages required o Defenses to Defamation  Truth  Privileged speech (immunity to defamatory statements)  Concerns of public figure (politicians, entertainment, professional athletes, etc.)  Invasion of Privacy o When a person has reasonable expectation of privacy, and invasion must be highly offensive o Under Common Law:  Intrusion into an individual’s affairs or seclusion  False light  Public disclosure of private facts  Appropriation of identity o Appropriation Statutes  Establish distinct tort of appropriation or right of publicity  Fraudulent Misrepresentation o Intentional deceit for personal gain (fraud) o Puffery  Seller’s talk  Abusive or Frivolous Litigation o Malicious prosecution o Abuse of process Business Torts  Involve wrongful interference with another’s business rights  Wrongful Interference with a Contractual Relationship o A valid, enforceable contract must exist between two parties o A third party must know contract exists o A third party must intentionally induce a party to the contract to breach it  Wrongful Interference with a Business Relationship o Competitive practice  Attempting to attract customers in general o Predatory behavior  Specifically targeting the customers of a competitor  Defenses to Wrongful Interference o If the interference is justified of permissible Intentional Torts against Property  Trespass to land or personal property o Real property  Land and things permanently attached to the land (house) o Personal Property  Consists of all other items, including cash and securities o Establishing Trespass o Damages o Defenses  Trespass is warranted (necessary)  Trespasser is a licensee (invited onto land)  Conversion o Wrongful possession or use of property without persmission  Disparagement of property o Slander of Quality  Publication of false information about another’s product  Trade libel o Slander of Title  Publication falsely denies another’s legal ownership of property Unintentional Torts (Negligence)  Negligence o When someone suffers injury because of another’s failure to a required duty of care o To succeed in negligence action, plaintiff must prove:  Duty  Breach  Causation  Damages  Duty of Care and Its Breach o Duty of care  People are free to act as they please  Actions can not infringe to the interests of others o Reasonable Person Standard  Court asks how a reasonable person would’ve acted in the same circumstances o Duty of Landowners  Expected to exercise reasonable care to protect individuals coming onto their property from harm  Business invitees  Obvious risks provide an exception o Duty of Professionals  Professionals are required to have standard minimum level of special knowledge and ability  Malpractice (professional negligence)  Causation o Courts Ask Two Questions:  Is there causation in fact?  Was the act proximate, legal, cause of injury? o Causation in fact  Can be determined by use of “but for” text; “but for” the wrongful act, injury would not have occurred o Proximate Cause  Legal cause  When connection between act an injury is strong enough to justify imposing liability o Foreseeability  Injury Requirement and Damages o Legally recognizable injury o Plaintiff must suffer loss, harm, wrong, or invasion of protected interest  Negligence Per Se o “in or of itself o An individual violates a statute or ordinance providing for criminal penalty and causation causes another to be injured  Good Samaritan Statutes o Persons who rescue or provide emergency services to others in peril  Cannot be sued for negligence  Dram Shop Acts o imposes liability in owners of bars and taverns for injuries resulting from accidents by intoxicated persons o impose liability on social hosts Defenses to Negligence  Assumption of risk o A plaintiff who voluntarily enters into a risky situation o Requires:  Knowledge of the risk  Voluntary assumption of the risk  Superseding cause o Relieves defendant of liability for injuries caused by intervening event  Contributory Negligence o Plaintiff who is also negligent cannot recover anything from defendant  Comparative negligence o Both plaintiff’s and defendant’s negligence are computed o Liability for damages is distributed accordingly o Some jurisdictions adopted “pure” form of C.N.  Allows plaintiff to recover o 50% rule  Prevents plaintiff from recovering any damages if she/he is more than 50% at fault


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