Torts Outline Last updated: 11/09/01
1. Find the torts
- Figure out who the plaintiff and defendants are.
- For each tort, set out the elements and see if the plaintiff has a prima facie case.
2. Find the defenses (contributory negligence, etc).
3. Find the General consideration items: vicarious liability, joint tortfeasors problems (j/s liability).
A tort is a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
- a non-contractual civil cause of action for which money damages lie
o Social objectives: compensation (monetary), discourage self help and suppress private violence, establish standards (tell people how they are to behave), regulate economic burdens, and provide legal mechanisms.
o Liability: intentional conduct, negligence, strict liability, by statutes.
o Modern focus: intentionality (trespass) and lack of intentionality (negligence).
In the back of the tort system is an insurance system. Tort liability can lead to difficulties in obtaining insurance that may lead to more direct problems to the public. (Doctors won’t do certain jobs, etc).
Policy is the social purpose of an institution: law emerges from politics when the institutions are persuade to act coercively by rule.
Two common law writs are the genesis of tort law:
- Writ of trespass: All forcible, direct injuries. Required no proof of actual damages.
- Writ of trespass on the case: Injuries that are not forcible or direct.
Modern focus of tort law:
- Intentionality (intentional torts)
- Lack of intentionality (negligence)
Chapter One: Development of Liability Based Upon Fault
Strict liability. Direct injuries, though unintended and without proof of negligence were actionable under trespass
Anonymous - King’s Bench, 1466
Facts: A passage of the early English law of...