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American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Grim

    Brief Fact Summary.

    American Family Mutual Insurance Co. filed an action against Grim to recover funds paid for a fire loss after Girm and his peers burned down a nearby church.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A person who convinces another to commit a tort can be held liable for any foreseeable act committed in connection with the tort.

    Facts.

    Grim and three other boys were having a sleepover, when they decided to purchase soft drinks. Instead of purchasing soft drinks, they decided to break into a church that had soft drinks. Trying to gain access to the kitchen, the boys lit a torch to navigate their way throughout the attic. The torches later lit a fire that destroyed the church. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. (American) paid losses for the fire to the church and sought a portion of the fire loss from Grim. The trial court granted judgment against Grim and Grim appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a person who convinces another to commit a tort can be held liable for any foreseeable act committed in connection with the tort?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Grim did not make any effort to withdraw from breaking into the church’s kitchen. Grim actively participated in the endeavor and may therefore be held liable.

    Discussion.

    A person who convinces another to commit a tort can be held liable for any foreseeable act committed in connection with the tort.


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