Flashcards in Intentional Cases Deck (21):
Dickens v. Puryear
"I'll teach you to sleep with my daughter"
SYNOPSIS: Δ slept with Π's daughter. Π lured Δ into alleyway where friends were waiting. Beat, threatened castration, threaten death unless he leaves state.
IMPORTANT: The attack and threats created apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contacts constituting battery and assaults, which was barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitations. HOWEVER, the threat for the future apparently intended to and allegedly did inflict sever emotional distress; therefore, it's actionable.
Villa v. Derouen
SYNOPSIS: Π received burns to his crotch area as caused by the actions of the Δ. Δ affirmed that he had intentionally placed the torch between the Π's legs and sprayed the Π's legs with oxygen. It was undisputed that the Π had reached down to his groin at the time of the injury, and either grabbed the torch or pushed it away.
IMPORTANT: Regardless of the result being unintentional, the act was intentional. "The intention need not be malicious nor need it be an intention to inflict actual damage. It is sufficient if the actor intends to inflict either a harmful or offensive contact without the other's consent...."
White v. Muniz
"Dual Intent Diaper Change"
SYNOPSIS: Δ, a nursing home patient with Alzheimer's, struck Π, an employee of the assisted living care facility where Δ resided, while she tried to change Δ's diaper.
IMPORTANT: Majority rule requires DUAL INTENT, and given the mental incapacity of the defendant, Π's argument is rejected. Thus the trial court delivered an adequate instruction to the jury to find that Δ appreciated the offensiveness of her conduct in order to be liable for the intentional tort of battery.
White v. University of Idaho
"Playing Plaintiff's Piano"
SYNOPSIS: Piano (Δ) teacher taps student (Π) on shoulder. Student ends up needing surgery on shoulder.
IMPORTANT: Minority rule that battery requires only an intent to cause an unpermitted contact, not an intent to make a harmful or offensive contact.
Ailiff v. Mar-Bal
"Cleaning up in torts"
CLAIM: Intentional Tort
SYNOPSIS: Employees of Mar-Bal were “exposed to excessive amounts of methylene chloride” when they cleaned the defendant’s equipment with this solvent. Δ had MSDS sheets warned of symptomatology, knew of potential effects, and Π alleged that Δ also falsified the OSHA logs and cleaned up the plant every time the insurance inspectors visited.
IMPORTANT: To prove 'intent', establish
(1) Knowledge by the employer of the danger,
(2) knowledge by the employer that harm substantially certain, and
(3) the employer, regardless, required the employee to continue to perform the dangerous task.
Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications
"Not just blowing smoke"
SYNOPSIS: During the Great American Smokeout, Π was invited to appear on a WLW radio talk show to discuss the harmful effects of smoking and breathing secondary smoke. Π alleges that Δ, another talk-show host, lit a cigar and repeatedly blew smoke in his face "for the purpose of causing physical discomfort, humiliation and distress."
(1) Battery is contact which is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity. No matter how trivial the incident, a battery is actionable even if the damages are only one dollar.
(2) An employer is not legally responsible for the intentional torts of its employees that do not facilitate or promote its business.
Hall v. McBryde
"Caught in Crossfire"
SYNOPSIS: Δ sees some youths in a car approaching his house, got his dad's loaded gun, and, after one of the other youths began shooting towards the house, Δ fired 4 shots toward the car containing other youths. Π, a neighbor of Δ, was struck by a bullet, and claims it was Δ that shot him.
IMPORTANT: Transferred intent. Δ's intent to place other persons in apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact was sufficient to satisfy the intent requirement for battery against Π.
Brandon v. County of Richardson
"I hate redneck sheriffs"
SYNOPSIS: During a Christmas Eve party, assailants grabbed Teena Brandon, forced him to remove his pants to prove that he was anatomically female. Assailants assaulted Brandon, and forced him into a car, drove to a secluded area, and raped him. Brandon escaped, filed a police report, though assailants had threatened Brandon not to tell the police. Sheriff Charles B. Laux (Δ) questioned Brandon about the rape; reportedly, he seemed especially interested in Brandon's transsexuality, to the point that Brandon found his questions rude and unnecessary, and refused to answer. Assailants learned of the report. Δ declined to have them arrested due to lack of evidence. Days later, assailants murdered Brandon and 2 others.
A. IIED claim survives the death of the victim.
(1) intentional or reckless conduct
(2) that was so outrageous in character, and
(3) that the conduct caused emotional distress so severe that no reasonable person should be expected to endure it: a. the relationship between the parties (i.e. abuse of a position of power)
b. the susceptibility of the plaintiff
c. the extreme and outrageous character of the conduct is itself important evidence that severe emotional distress existed on account of the conduct
Alcorn v. Anbro Engineering, Inc.
"How not to deal with employees, 101"
SYNOPSIS: Π is a former truck driver employee who voiced concerns on rules to Δ. Δ responds with rude shouting of racial slurs, and fires Π.
1. The physical consequences of shock or other disturbance to the nervous system satisfy the requirement that Π suffered physical injury from Δ's conduct.
2. CA allows the right to recover damages for emotional distress alone, without consequent physical injuries, in cases involving extreme and outrageous intentional invasions of one's mental and emotional tranquility.
3. Must consider position of power of Δ and susceptibility of Π as both employee and as black to this form of act.
Swenson v. Northern Crop Insurance, Inc.
"Sex, jobs, & alcohol"
SYNOPSIS: Π, a recovering alcoholic, worked as a secretary. Got promoted by general manager (Δ) who opposed the promotion because he believed a man should fill the job. Δ continually made derogatory and sexist remarks; hires 2 men for positions that were not made available to Π; told Π gender was the reason for hiring the men; and demoted Π to typist at a lower pay than before. Δ refused further communication with Π. Π returned to treatment and counseling to keep from drinking because of the stress. Δ was informed of Π's deteriorating emotional state by her request for an additional 5-10 min. lunch time to attend AA meetings.
IMPORTANT: Sexism and discriminatory conduct in the workplace from a supervisor could fulfill the necessary requirements of IIED, but should be disputed by the jury.
Logan v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
"'Queer' wasn't queer"
SYNOPSIS: A Sears employee phoned Π to inquire into his monthly charge account. While Π looks for his checkbook, Π alleges the employee made a homophobic statement.
IMPORTANT: In order to create a cause of action, the conduct must be such that would cause mental suffering, shame, or humiliation to a person of ordinary sensibilities. Insult is not sufficient to support a claim of outrage or invasion of privacy. Needs evidence of intent or severe distress.
Wal-Mart Stores v. Cockrell
CLAIM: False Imprisonment
SYNOPSIS: Π and his parents went to Wal-Mart. Π decided to leave. While leaving, a loss-prevention officer stopped Π and requested Π follow him to the manager's office. Π was then searched. Seeing the bandage that kept a wound from his liver transplant sterile, loss-prevention officer insisted Π take off the bandage. Afterward, he was apologized to and let go.
IMPORTANT: Nobody saw Π steal merchandise, and the search was unreasonable in scope––no probable cause to believe that Π had hidden any merchandise under the bandage.
Hogan v. Tavzel
"Till STD do us part"
CLAIM: Negligence, battery, fraudulent concealment, & IIED
SYNOPSIS: Π and Δ were married for 15 years but separated. During a period of attempted reconciliation, Δ infected Π with genital warts. Δ knew of his condition but failed to warn Π or take any precaution against infecting her.
1. Any court decision that is not specifically limited in its application, either retrospective or prospective, is then to be taken as retroactive.
2. (a) One party's consent to sexual intercourse is vitiated by the partner's fraudulent concealment of the risk of infection with venereal disease, regardless of their marital status towards one another. Kathleen K. v. Robert B.
(b) The Restatement (Second) of Torts (1977) says consent to sex is not consent to be infected with an STD.
Hellriegel v. Tholl
"It's all fun & games till you've paralyzed"
SYNOPSIS: Π's son was hanging out with Δs at Lake Washington and willingly engaged in rough and tumble horseplay, during which the Π's son was injured and became paralyzed.
IMPORTANT: To constitute a consent, the assent must be to the invasion itself and not merely to the act which causes it. See Restatement, Torts 53, and Comment.
Reavis v. Slominski
"Two Decades Unconsented"
CLAIM: Sexual assault & IIED
SYNOPSIS: Π worked for Δ at his dental clinic off & on for 2 decades. Π stated Δ said she would lose her job & her marriage if she told anyone. Π admitted that Δ never physically forced her to have sex with him. Π testified that she could not quit her job because she needed the money to support her family. They slept together, circumstances debatable, then Π tried to kill herself. Claimed childhood abuse rendered consent ineffective.
IMPORTANT: Two aspects to the effectiveness of consent: (1) abnormality on the part of the alleged victim and (2) knowledge on the part of the alleged attacker.
Bradley v. Hunter
CLAIM: Wrongful death
SYNOPSIS: Δs refused to serve J. W., who then threatened and cursed at them and then left. Δ2 (Δ1's mom) went to see if he's gone. Δ1 followed. J. W. came walking quickly at her from about thirty feet away, flailing his arms with fists clenched while cursing at and threatening her. Δ1 pulled her gun, warned, & fired 1-2 warning shots. The third shot struck J. W. in the head, killing him.
IMPORTANT: Where a person reasonably believes she is threatened with bodily harm, she may use whatever force appears to be reasonably necessary to protect against the threatened injury (p. 713). Under the circumstances of the case, Δ1 could have believed in good faith that it was necessary for her to shoot J. W. to prevent bodily harm to her and/or her mother.
Juarez-Martinez v. Deans
"Mean Dean beans Greg in the head"
CLAIM: Assault & battery
SYNOPSIS: Δ was angry because Π was not working. He entered Π's residence holding an eight-inch steel tractor hitch pin in his hand. Δ called Π's name several times but received no response. Δ entered the bedroom where Π was asleep, picked up a bottle containing some beer from the bed-side table and poured some of the beer on Π's face. Skirmish ensues (details disputed). Δ claims to have "jumped backwards," believing this was a sign of his withdrawal from the conflict.
1. When considering a Π's motion for directed verdict, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (Δ), drawing all reasonable inferences and resolving all conflicts in his or her favor.
2. The right of self-defense is only available to a person who is w/o fault, and if a person voluntarily (aggressively and willingly) enters into a fight, he cannot invoke the doctrine of self-defense unless he first abandons the fight, withdraws from it and gives notice to his adversary that he has done so.
3. When a person who is free from fault and bringing on a difficulty is attacked in his home, the law doesn't imposes upon him a duty to retreat.
Kato v. Briney
"ACME Burglar Alarm"
CLAIM: Damages resulting from injury
SYNOPSIS: Δ set a trap using a spring shotgun in a bedroom aimed at the door and rigged to fire upon the door's opening. The gun could not be seen from the outside, and no warning of its presence was posted. Π trespassed, got leg blown off.
IMPORTANT: One may use reasonable force in the protection of his property, but such right is subject to the qualification that
(1) one may not use such means of force as will take human life or inflict great bodily injury
(2) the only time when such conduct of setting a 'spring gun' or a like dangerous device is justified would be when the trespasser was committing a felony of violence or a felony punishable by death, or where the trespasser was endangering human life by his act.
Rossi v. Delduca
"Dog Eat (Girl) Dog"
CLAIM: Damages resulting from injury
SYNOPSIS: An 8-year-old girl (Π) is walking home, gets chased by a dog onto the Δ's property, whose dogs then attack her.
IMPORTANT: While a trespasser could be attacked by the dogs without incurring liability for the owner, Π was entering the property out of necessity to prevent serious harm, and so was privileged.
Vincent v. Lake Erie Transp. Co.
"You bent my dock"
SYNOPSIS: Δ's steamship was moored to the Π's dock. While unloading the boat, a storm developed. Δ kept the boat tied to the dock, and the waves caused by the storm bashed the boat against the dock, resulting in damage.
IMPORTANT: Private Necessity is an incomplete defense: If one damages of private property which is less valuable than one's own property to save one's own property, they must still compensate for damages.