Law and Ethics- Chapter 9

  1. Categories of torts
    • Intentional
    • Negligence
    • Strict Liability
  2. Negligence
    accidental (without willful intent) event that caused harm to another party
  3. Intentional Tort
    One where the tortfeasor was willful in bringing about a particular event that caused harm to another party
  4. Strict Liability
    where a tortfeasor may be held liable for an act regardless of intent or willfullness, applies primarily in cases of defective products and abnormally dangerous activities (such as a major construction demolition)
  5. Libel
    written defamation
  6. Slander
    Oral (spoken) defamation
  7. Defamatory statement
    A false and defamatory statement that subjected a party to hate, contempt, or ridicule.

    Must have a tendency to harm the reputation of the plaintiff

    The statement must be false (not merely unkind)

    Pure opinion (doesn't count)

    Must be proven as false
  8. Dissemination to a third party
    Statement must somehow reach the ears or eyes of someon other than the tortfeasor and the victim
  9. 4 requirements of Defamation that the plaintiff must prove
    • Defamatory Statement
    • Dissemination to a third party
    • Specificity
    • Damages
  10. Specificity
    The statement must be about a particular party, business or product. Thus, any general statement about a profession as a whole cannot constitute defamation, but a false statement about a company can be the basis of a reputation claim.
  11. Damages
    The aggrieved party must be able to prove that he or she suffered some pecuniary harm.

    Examples: include situations where the victim has lost a valuable client due to the tortfeasor's defamatory comment, or the inability of the victim to secure employment because of a tortfeasor's defamatory comment during a reference check
  12. Pecuniary Harm
    Lost revenue or profits, both actual and potential
  13. Malice
    intentional doing of a wrongful act with intent to harm
  14. Privilege
    A defense that recognizes either a legal or public policy based immunity from a defamation claim

    Absolute and qualified privilege
  15. Absolute Privilege
    Defendant need not offer any further evidence to assert the defense
  16. Qualified Privilege
    Defendants must offer evidence of good faith and be absent of malice to be shielded from liability
  17. 3 Categories of Absolute Priviliges
    • Government officials
    • Judicial Officers / proceedings
    • State legislators
  18. Qualified Privilege
    • Media- TV, radio, periodicals
    • Employers- providing reference for an ex-employee
  19. Trade Libel
    • 1. Clear and specific reference to the disparaged party or product(using the actual brand name of the product)
    • 2.  Made with either knowledge that the statement was false or reckless disregard for the truth
    • 3.  Communicated to a third party (similar to defemation)
  20. Fraudulent Misrepresentation
    • 1. Misrepresentation was a material fact known to be false by the tortfeasor (or reckless disregard for the truth)
    • 2. The tortfeasor intended to pursuade the innocent party to rely on the statement and the innocent party did, in fact, rely on it
    • 3. Damages were suffered by the innocent party
  21. False Imprisonment
    intentional infliction of a confinement upon another party
  22. Merchants Privilege (False imprisonment)
    • Limited detention
    • Limited to premises
    • Coercion
  23. Business Competition Torts
    Promotion of fairness in business dealings and for the reimbursement of a party that has suffered some damages as a result of a competitor's tortious acts.

    Tortious interference with existing contractual relationship

    Tortious interference with prospective advantage
  24. Tortious interference with existing contractual relationship
    • Inorder to recover damages the tortfeasor must have
    • 1. ad specific knowledge of the contract
    • 2. actively interfered with the contract
    • 3. Caused some identifiable damages (losses) to the injured party.
  25. Tortious interference with prospective advantage
    Courts only allow recovery for tort under limited circumstances where the tortfeasor's conduct was highly anticompetitive

    example: destroying proposal forms, causing missed deadline, thus missing a contract opportinitiy
  26. Elements of Negligence
    • Duty
    • Breach of duty
    • Cause in fact
    • Proximate Cause
    • Actual Damages

    all 5 items must be proven in order to recover in a lawsuit
  27. Duty
    Did the tortfeasor owe a duty of care to the injured party
  28. Breach of duty
    Did the tortfeasor fail to exercise reasonable care
  29. Cause in Fact
    Except for the breach in duty by the tortfeasor, would the injured party have suffered damages?
  30. Proximate Cause
    Was there a legally recognized and close in proximity link between the breach of duty and the damages suffered by the injured party.
  31. Actual Damages
    Did the injured party suffer some physical harm that resulted in identifiable losses
Card Set
Law and Ethics- Chapter 9
Chapter 9 law and ethics- Torts