This Capsule Summary is intended for review at the end of the semester. Reading it is not a substitute for mastering the material in the main outline. Numbers in brackets refer to the pages in the main outline where the topic is discussed.
A. Definition of tort: There is no single definition of “tort.” The most we can say is that: (1) a tort is a civil wrong committed by one person against another; and (2) torts can and usually do arise outside of any agreement between the parties.
B. Categories: There are three broad categories of torts, and there are individual named torts within each category:
1. Intentional torts: First, intentional torts are ones where the defendant desires to bring about a particular result. The main intentional torts are:
c. False imprisonment.
d. Infliction of mental distress.
2. Negligence: The next category is the generic tort of “negligence.” Here, the defendant has not intended to bring about a certain result, but has merely behaved carelessly. There are no individually-named torts in this category, merely the general concept of “negligence.”
3. Strict liability: Finally, there is the least culpable category, “strict liability.” Here, the defendant is held liable even though he did not intend to bring about the undesirable result, and even though he behaved with utmost carefulness. There are two main individually-named torts that apply strict liability: