Mathias V Accor

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Mathias v. Accor Economy Lodging ISSUE(S): Does the failure to take preventative steps against, a situation which results in some level of physical harm and/or unconsented offensive touching constitute [an] intentional tort(s)? If such failure to take preventative steps (and/or disclose) is an intentional tort, can the plaintiff obtain damages above and beyond compensatory damages? RULE(S): A tort is a “civil wrong” and there are essentially two main types, intentional torts and negligence. The former involves some form of intent or “recklessness” on the part of the defendant, whereas negligence is generally defined as the absence of the exercise of reasonable care by defendant, with harm occurring to the plaintiff as a result. The types of intentional torts implicated here are battery and fraud. The former (fraud) is defined as “the intentional and harmful or offensive touching of another without his consent.” The latter (fraud) is defined as a “knowing misrepresentation”; a false statement of material fact that was knowingly or recklessly made by the defendant with the intent to induce reliance by the plaintiff. Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant and deter all other potential defendants in the marketplace, are awarded to plaintiffs above and beyond their actual damages. In cases of intentional torts (i.e., when there is findings of wilfullness, maliciousness, or recklessness), punitive damage awards will be upheld provided they meet the ranges/ratios of punitive damages to actual damages, set forth in recent U.S. Supreme Court cases (BMW and State Farm). APPLICATION: Here, there was substantial evidence that the defendant, Motel knew of the widespread existence of bedbugs in their rooms. Indeed, the pest service that the Motel used, identified the bed bug problem yet the Motel

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