Case Law: I de S and Wife v. W de S (throwing a hatchet but missing).
Definition: Intentional confinement of a person without lawful privilege and without consent.
Elements: Intent, confinement within a bounded area, awareness of confinement.
Case Law: Enright v. Groves (police wrongfully arresting someone).
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)
Definition: Intentional or reckless conduct that is extreme and outrageous, causing severe emotional distress.
Elements: Intent or recklessness, extreme and outrageous conduct, causation, severe emotional distress.
Case Law: Howell v. New York Post Co. (invasion of privacy of a hospitalized person).
Trespass to Land
Definition: Intentional entry onto the land of another without lawful authority.
Elements: Intent, entry, land of another.
Case Law: Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co. (indirect invasion considered trespass).
Trespass to Chattels
Definition: Intentionally dispossessing another of their chattel or using or intermeddling with a chattel in the possession of another.
Elements: Intent, interference with possession, chattel.
Case Law: CompuServe Inc. v. Cyber Promotions, Inc. (sending unauthorized emails to servers).
Definition: Intentional exercise of dominion or control over a chattel that so seriously interferes with the right of another to control it that the actor may justly be required to pay the other the full value of the chattel.
Elements: Intent, exercise of dominion or control, chattel, serious interference.
Case Law: Sporn v. MCA Records, Inc. (unauthorized use of celebrity’s name).
Defenses to Intentional Torts
Definition: Willingness in fact for conduct to occur; may be expressed or implied from conduct.
Case Law: Hogan v. Tavzel (disease transmission despite consent to contact).
Justification for using reasonable force to protect oneself from physical harm.
Case Law: Katko v. Briney (use of deadly force in protection of property).
Defense of Others
Similar to self-defense but protecting another person.
Defense of Property
Right to use reasonable force to defend one’s property, but not deadly force.
Public necessity (for the greater good) or private necessity (benefits fewer people) may justify an intentional tort.
Duty of Care
Definition: Legal obligation to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.
Elements: Foreseeability, standard of care.
Case Law: Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. (foreseeability in duty).
Breach of Duty
Definition: Failure to meet the standard of care.
Elements: Comparison to the reasonable person standard.
Case Law: Blyth v. Birmingham Waterworks Co. (standard of care during unusual frost).
Actual Cause: “But for” the defendant’s conduct, the injury would not have occurred.
Proximate Cause: Legal cause; it was foreseeable that the conduct would cause this type of harm.
Case Law: Wagon Mound No.1 (foreseeability in proximate cause).
Definition: Actual loss resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
Elements: Compensatory and possibly punitive damages.
Definition: Compensation for harm suffered due to the breach of duty.
Elements: Actual and compensatory damages, sometimes punitive.
Case Law: McDougald v. Garber (pain and suffering damages in NY).
Defenses to Negligence
New York Rule: Pure comparative negligence—damages are apportioned according to fault.
Case Law: Arbegast v. Board of Education (comparative negligence in NY).
Assumption of Risk
Plaintiff voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks associated with an activity.
Not a defense in New York due to the adoption of comparative negligence.
Abnormally Dangerous Activities
Liability for damages caused by activities that are inherently dangerous and not common.
Case Law: Rylands v. Fletcher (classic English case applied in the US).
Manufacturers and sellers are strictly liable for defective products that cause injury.
Definition: Invasion of a person’s private life without just cause, including appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, and false light.
Case Law: Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. (promissory estoppel applied to confidentiality promise).
Slander and Libel
Definition: False statements that harm someone’s reputation.
Elements: False statement, publication, harm to reputation, fault.
Case Law: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (actual malice standard for public figures).
Definition: Legal responsibility imposed on one person for the acts of another.
Applicable Law: Employers are often vicariously liable for employees’ torts committed within the scope of employment.
Case Law: Christensen v. Swenson (scope of employment issue).
New York Specific: An alternative to litigation for employees injured at work, providing benefits irrespective of fault.
Applicable Law: New York Workers’ Compensation Law.