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Andrews v. Peters

Citation. 330 S.E.2d 638 (N.C. Ct. App. 1985)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Defendant jokingly placed his knee on the back of Defendant, resulting in Plaintiff’s knee buckling and serious leg injuries

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

For purposes of intentional torts (i.e. assault and battery),  intent does not necessarily require hostility or desire to do harm, rather an intent to invade the legally-protected interest of the victim.


At work, Peters placed the front of his knee on the back of Andrews’s, causing her knee to buckle and to fall from the contact. As a result of the incident, Andrews suffered a dislocated right kneecap. Peters maintained the action was good-natured and meant as a joke. He contended he was “shocked” by the resulting injury and immediately helped Andrews. Andrews filed suit against Peters on the theory of assault and battery, suing for loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering and punitive damages.


Whether Andrews possessed the intent necessary for a successful claim of assault and battery?


Yes, “intent”—for purposes of intentional torts—does not require maliciousness or hostility, merely that a Defendant makes contact against a person in a way which violates one’s legally-protected interest.

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