BUS 131 Chapter 6 Notes
BUS 131 Chapter 6 Notes BUS 131 - 010
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
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BUS 131 - 010
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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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