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Chapter 7 Tort Law
Terms in this set (22)
Although the primary objectives of criminal law are to punish wrongdoers and preserve order in society, the primary objective of tort law is to provide compensation for injured parties. Tort law also contributes to maintaining order in society because it discourages private retaliation by injured persons and their friends. After all, we do not want to live in a community where vigilantes with tempers are roaming about, righting some harm they believe has occurred to them.
A third objective of tort law is to give citizens a sense that they live in a just society. Our collective sense of right and wrong suggests that someone who creates harm should make things right by compensating those who were harmed. The recognition that one will have to pay for the personal injuries she or he causes may also serve to deter the commission of torts.
A civil wrong that involves taking some purposeful action that the defendant knew, or should have known, would harm the person, property, or economic interests of the plaintiff
threat or attempt to injure
the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.
a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
a witness testifying in a court or legislature may never be sued for defamation
Public Disclosure of Private Facts
Appropriation for Commercial Gain
Intrusion on an Individual's Affairs or Seclusion
occurs when a person uses her property in an unreasonable manner that harms a neighbor's use or enjoyment of his property
trespass to personal property
The unlawful taking or harming of another's personal property; interference with another's right to the exclusive possession of his or her personal property.
a communication that belittles somebody or something
slander of quality
The publication of false information about another's product, alleging that it is not what its seller claims.
The publication of false information about another's product, alleging it is not what its seller claims; also referred to as slander of quality.
intentional interference with contract
The tort that occurs when someone intentionally takes an action that will cause a person to breach a contract that he or she has with another.
careless neglect, often resulting in injury
When courts attempt to determine whether a reasonable person would have owed a duty to others, they consider four questions:
How likely was it that the harm would occur?
How serious was the potential harm?
How socially beneficial was the defendant's conduct that posed the risk of harm?
What costs would have been necessary to reduce the risk of harm?
The liability of businesses grew out of the traditional common law, under which the duty of owners and occupiers of real property depends primarily on the status of the injured party.
The injured party may be an invitee, a person who enters another's premises as a result of an express or implied invitation of the owner for their mutual benefit, with a business invitee being one who is invited onto the property for the purpose of doing business; a licensee, a person who enters another's premises with the occupier's consent for his or her benefit alone; or a trespasser, one who is on the property without the owner's or occupier's permission, as described earlier in this chapter. Under this approach, the owner owes the greatest duty to the invitee, a duty to inspect the premises to ensure that they are reasonably safe and to warn of any hidden dangers. The owner has a duty to a licensee to warn of any hidden dangers of which he knows but has no affirmative duty to inspect for hidden problems. The owner owes no duty to trespassers except to do them no intentional harm.
Professionals have more training than ordinary people.
Thus, when professionals are serving in their professional capacity, courts generally hold that they have a higher duty of care to clients than does the ordinary person. A professional cannot defend against a negligence suit by claiming ignorance of generally accepted principles in her or his field of expertise. Clients who feel that they have suffered damages as a result of a professional's breach of her duty of care can bring a negligence case against her. These actions are frequently referred to as malpractice cases.
Legal cause; exists when the connection between an act and an injury is strong enough to justify imposing liability.
Pure Comparative Negligence
a defense accepted in some states whereby the defendant is not liable for the percentage of harm that he or she can prove is due to the plaintiff's own negligence
Modified Comparative Negligence
defendant must be more than 50% at fault before the plaintiff can recover
Assumption of Risk
A defense against negligence that can be used when the plaintiff was aware of a danger and voluntarily assumed the risk of injury from that danger.
one who commits a tort
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