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FSU BUL 3310 - Tort

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INTRODUCTIONDANCE PARTNERS AS DEFENDANTSDANCE VENUE OWNERS/OPERATORS AS DEFENDANTSDANCE INSTRUCTORS AS DEFENDANTSTort• Tortus = twisted, crooked (behavior leading to victim harm)1. Definition – a civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy in the form of a lawsuit for money damagesa. You can sue if you’ve been the victim of a civil wrongb. Not talking about crimes = lawsuit 2. A tort involves a direct interference with:a. Person ori. Ex. Your body (someone hitting you, shooting, knifing) or batteryb. Property, ori. Ex. trespassingc. Intangible interestsi. Intangible = incapable of being touched ii. Ex. Reputation, slander, libel, defamationTort Liability1. Intentional Tort – deliberately, mean to do it (intentionally hitting someone), doesn’t always have to involve violence2. Negligence – carelessness causing tort3. Strict Liability – imposing liability strictly, if you commit an act and it causes injury you are still responsible, limited to very dangerous/ultra hazardous activity, even if not done intentionally and with careI. INTENTIONAL TORTS = deliberate acts• Can you have battery without assault? Yes  hit someone from behind, didn’t see you coming, injured while sleeping• Can you have assault without battery? Yes A. Assault – intentional act of putting another person in apprehension for his physical safety (does not involve contact)a. Doing something that scares you into thinking you will get hurtb. Example: Pointing a Gunc. Example: Squirt Gun Incident – water gun was pointed at a woman as a joke but she didn’t know it was a squirt gun, she reasonably believed it was a gun  resulted in a felony and arrested for assault 1) Actual, physical contact is not required2) There must be present (right now), apparent ability to carry out the “threat”a. Apparent ability = appearance, what does it look likeTHE SAME ACT MAY BE BOTH A TORT AND A CRIME• Someone can be arrested, prosecuted, and sued for the tort• Almost always the criminal case goes first, burden of proof is different• Not double jeopardy because tort is not a crime• Tort – lower standard of proof requiredB. Battery – intentional touching of another person without consent or justification1a. Touching = any contact, violent or not, body contact, can include a projectile set in motioni. Ex. Second Hand Smoke – 4 states consider it touching in the case of batteryb. Justification = policemen, fleeing felon rule, self defense, for own safety or safety of othersc. Consent = not tort of battery if there is consent 1) Consent:a. Express – by words (if nothing is said it becomes difficult, best in terms of clarity, person says yes or no)b. Implied – by conduct (pick-up sports games, sometimes beyond consented touching implied, depends what the context is)c. Informed Consent – “consent without knowledge is no consent at all” (medical procedures  agree to surgery and explain what is going to happen so you know what’s going on; if parts are left out or you sign something without knowledge) DAMAGES IN INTENTIONAL TORT CASES – a lot like crime1) Actual – compensatory – compensate you for damages/loss2) Punitive – punishing/deterrence – done to teach a lesson, punishing the person/group that did wrong, to make sure it doesn’t happen againa. Example: Informed Consent Case-Doctor was sued for branding the letters “UK” on a woman’s uterus before removing it, the tape showed letters being inscribed, two other woman later came forward saying it happened to them too after watching their operation’s video-Woman claimed it was a mockery and she was used as a toy-Not illegal to be tacky or trivial – the case settled b. Example: Woman got $2 million from a pharmacist diluting drugs out of greed, his assets of $12 million was seized C. False Imprisonment – intentional confinement or restraint of a person without consent or justification a. Restraint of liberty – don’t have to be locked up in a cell, can be held in a manager’s office in a mallb. Justification – apprehending a suspect, citizens arrest, voluntary confinement (mental health asylum), involuntary entrance to a mental health clinic but it’s a danger to society i. Example: Teen sues over psychiatric facility-Wrongly imprisoned for 14 months, deprived of her school and care, State Senator had to intervene and transfer her, she was bound and drugged, falsely imprisoned after the first 72 hours  it was unjustifiedii. Example: Witherspoon filed false imprisonment after paparazzi blocked her in at the gym, they restrained her liberty to go where she wantedD. Abuse of Process – groundless (no basis) institution of civil proceedings against a persona. No basis for suing someoneb. Frivolous law suitc. Spite suit – someone is trying to harass youd. The other person can sue back for loss of time, legal fees, work 2E. Defamation – publication of false statements which holds a person up to hatred, contempt, or ridicule (i.e., harms the reputation)a. Publication = at least 3 people are involvedb. False = distribution information that isn’t true1. Slander – oral defamation (A, B, and C are involved)2. Libel – written defamation (every written thing printed is its own count – each book or magazine)3. Defamacast – broadcast on television, internet, radio (millions hear/see it)4. Defamation Per Se – assume reputation is hurta. Accusation of Crime (False)b. Statement that Degrades Person in Business/Professionc. Accusation of having a loathsome disease – venereal diseased. Truth is a defense to a defamation lawsuitPer Se = in and of itself 5. Privilegea. Absolute – even if statement is false, speaker/write is immune from liabilityi. Judicial proceedings, or (court proceeding, doesn’t have to be an actual trial)ii. Legislative proceedings • The law is interested in promoting freedom of expression in judicial proceedings, rather make mistakes then have someone suffer through retaliationb. Qualified – even if statement is false, speaker/writer is immune from liability if (pertinent to business, if your sued you automatically win, appropriate circumstances merit this)i. Statement made in goo faith ANDii. Statement made by person with legitimate interest ANDiii. Statement made in reasonable manner SCENARIO – Restaurant Case• Owner to Cashier: “You are not ringing up the cash in the register.”• Cashier to Owner: “Are


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