To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library




Capsule Summary

Chapter 2



A. Meaning of intent:  There is no general meaning of “intent” when discussing intentional torts. For each individual intentional tort, you have to memorize a different definition of “intent.” All that the intentional torts have in common is that D must have intended to bring about some sort of physical or mental effect upon another person.

1. No intent to harm:  The intentional torts generally are not defined in such a way as to require D to have intended to harm the plaintiff.

Example:  D points a water gun at P, making it seem like a robbery, when in fact it is a practical joke. If D has intended to put P in fear of imminent harmful bodily contact, the “intent” for assault is present, even though D intended no “harm” to P.

2. Substantial certainty:  If D knows with substantial certainty that a particular effect will occur as a result of her action, she is deemed to have intended that result.

Example:  D pulls a chair out from under P as she is sitting down. If D knew with “substantial certainty” that P would hit the ground, D meets the intent requirement for battery, even if he did not desire that she do so. [Garratt v. Dailey]

a. High likelihood:  But if it is merely “highly likely,” not “substantially certain,” that the bad consequences will occur, then the act is not an intentional tort. “Recklessness” by D is not enough.

b. Act distinguished from consequences:  For “substantial certain” and “intentional,” distinguish betwwen D’s act, and the consequences of that act. The act must be intentional or substantially certain, but the consequences need not be.

Example:  D intends to tap P lightly on the chin to annoy him. If P has a “glass jaw,” which is broken by the light blow, D has still “intended” to cause the contact, and the intentional tort of battery has taken place, even though the consequences – broken jaw – were not intended.

B. Transferred intent:  Under the doctrine of “transferred intent,  if D held the necessary intent with respect to person A, he will be held to have committed an intentional tort against any other person who happens to be injured.

Example:  D shoots at A, and accidentally hits B. D is liable to B for the intentional tort of battery.

Create New Group

Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following