Intentional tort

Intentional tort

An intentional tort is a category of torts that describes a civil wrong resulting from an intentional act on the part of the tortfeasor. The term negligence tort, on the other hand, pertains to a tort that simply results from the failure of the tortfeasor to take sufficient care in fulfilling a duty owed.

Not every intentional action qualifies as an intentional tort. Suppose an investor holding more than half of a corporation's stock votes on changes the other stockholders find detrimental. If the other stockholders suffer damages as a result, this is not a tort, as the powerful investor had a right to vote whichever way he liked. Thus, the other stockholders cannot sue the aforementioned investor for damages. If, on the other hand, John Doe physically attacks a passerby in the street, and as a result the passerby incurs medical bills, John is liable for these costs, as he is guilty of the tort of battery.

To find a defendant liable for an intentional tort, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant performed the action leading to the damages the plaintiff alleges, and that the defendant could have reasonably foreseen some harm to the plaintiff, although the full extent of the harm need not be foreseeable. Furthermore, the action must be a recognized "wrongful act." A famous case in the 1800s involved a hemophiliac child (Vosburg) who was kicked by another child (Putney) at school, resulting in severe disability of the leg. Although the kicker could not have reasonably foreseen that the kick would cause severe disability, he certainly could have foreseen that it would cause discomfort, and was found liable.

Common law intentional torts include:
*Slander and libel
*False imprisonment
*Intentional infliction of emotional distress

The doctrine of transferred intent applies to intentional torts.

Property torts

Property torts are a specific class of intentional torts which arise when the right invaded is a property right rather than a personal right. These include trespass to land (entering someone's land without permission), trespass to chattels (handling items owned by another without permission), and conversion (taking possession of someone else's property with the intent not to return it). Some older, and largely obsolete, property law concepts include detinue, replevin, and trover.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • intentional tort — n. A tort committed deliberately with an express desire to harm. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. intentional tort A deliberate act tha …   Law dictionary

  • tort — / tȯrt/ n [Anglo French, wrongful or illegal act, from Old French, injury, from Medieval Latin tortum, from Latin, neuter of tortus twisted, from past participle of torquēre to twist]: a wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures… …   Law dictionary

  • Tort law in Canada — concerns the treatment of the law of torts within the Canadian jurisdiction excluding Quebec, which is covered by the law of obligations. Sources As with most common law countries, Canadian tort law is primarily judge made law, much of which is… …   Wikipedia

  • intentional — in·ten·tion·al /in ten chə nəl/ adj: done with intent an intentional tort intentional discrimination in·ten·tion·al·ly adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • tort — (from Lat. torquere, to twist, tortus, twisted, wrested aside). A private or civil wrong or injury, including action for bad faith breach of contract, for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages. K Mart Corp. v …   Black's law dictionary

  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress — (IIED) is a tort claim of recent origin for intentional conduct that results in extreme emotional distress. Some courts and commentators have substituted mental for emotional , but the tort is the same. Some jurisdictions refer to IIED as the… …   Wikipedia

  • tort claims act — n. A federal law that makes the U.S. government liable for damages in tort, waiving sovereign immunity except in specific cases; many states also have tort claims acts. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks,… …   Law dictionary

  • Intentional interference with contractual relations — is a common law tort that applies to an activity or activities that causes a damage to contractual relations between parties. It may include acts that prevent parties from contracting or it may cause the parties who have already entered into a… …   Wikipedia

  • Tort — law Part of t …   Wikipedia

  • tort — /tawrt/, n. Law. a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another s person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation. [1350 1400; ME: injury,… …   Universalium

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