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Alteiri v. Colasso

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Alteiri brought a battery suit against Colasso when Colasso threw a rock that ended up hitting Alteiri in the eye.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Under the principle of transferred intent, a claim for battery exists if a person intends to injure a third party but ends up injuring someone else other than the third party.

    Facts.

    Alteiri brought a battery suit against Colasso when Colasso threw a rock that ended up hitting Alteiri in the eye. The jury determined that Colasso threw the rock with the intention to scare a third party, and the rock ended up hitting Colasso. The trial court granted judgment to Alteiri. Colasso appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a claim for battery exists if a person intends to injure a third party but ends up injuring someone else other than the third party?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Because the act of throwing the rock injured Alteiri, the battery charge against Colasso may be upheld.

    Discussion.

    Transferred intent applies to both assault and battery, where a person intends to commit an assault and injury to the third party permits a battery claim. A battery claim under the doctrine of transferred intent is upheld even if the defendant does not intend to commit a battery. Transferred intent also applies even if the defendant does not know of the third party’s presence.


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