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27 Cards in this Set

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12 year old Putney kicked Vosburg during class, exciting a prior injury and leading to Vosburg losing the use of his leg.
Vosburg v. Putney
Intentional Trespass: Is a defendant liable for assault and battery notwithstanding the fact that he did not intend to harm the plaintiff? Yes. Assault and battery is established by the intent to commit the unlawful act, without regard to the intent to cause injury
The defendant entered the plaintiff’s land with a surveyor, without authorization, to assert a claim on the land, without marking trees or cutting brush.
Dougherty v. Stepp
Intentional Trespass: Did the court err in instructing the jury that the act of entering another’s unenclosed land and claiming it as one’s own, without altering the land, does not constitute a trespass? Yes. Trespass is the unauthorized entry onto the land of another regardless of any physical damage caused.
Hamidi, a former employee of Intel, sent unsolicited email messages to Intel employees over the company intranet, criticizing Intel’s employment practices.
Intel Corp. v. Hamidi
Intentional Trespass: Does the use of an electronic mail system to send electronic messages that causes no damage to the computer nor impairs its functionality constitute a trespass to chattels? No.
Courvoisier shot Raymond, whom defendant believed was about to shoot him.
Courvoisier v. Raymond
Defenses to Trespass: Did the court err in instructing the jury that self-defense requires proof of an assault on the defendant? Yes. Self-defense requires a showing that under the circumstances the defendant feared for his life or safety.
Bird was shot when he entered Holbrook’s walled garden to retrieve a peahen and triggered a spring gun.
Bird v. Holbrook
Defenses to Trespass: Is the defendant liable for injuries caused by a spring gun he installed to protect his property day and night, which was triggered without notice to the injured party? Yes. A person may not protect his property with a device designed to inflict injury upon a trespasser without notice of its existence.
Kirby (an employee) had had his pay docked. When his employer gave him payroll money to distribute, he took some and told his employer he was keeping the money and quitting. The employer tackled him and attempted to recover the money.
Kirby v. Foster
Defenses to Trespass: Were the defendants justified in using force to recover the money from the plaintiff? No. When someone voluntarily gives personal property to someone, they may not use force to recover it.
Ploof moored his boat to Putnam’s dock to avoid damage from a serious storm. The defendant’s servant unmoored the boat, causing damage to it and its occupants.
Ploof v. Putnam
Defenses to Trespass: Is trespass ever justified by reason of necessity? Yes. Necessity is a defense to trespass
Damage was caused to the plaintiff’s dock after the defendant chose to remain moored to it to spare its ship from damage during a violent storm.
Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation
Defenses to Trespass: Is the defendant liable for the plaintiff’s damages to his dock caused by a natural disaster? Yes. Necessity is a defense to trespass, but the trespasser is still responsible for damage caused.
The defendant swung a hatchet at the plaintiff’s wife when he was denied entry to her husband’s tavern.
I de S. and Wife v. W. de S.
Assault: Can an action for assault be sustained though no physical damages are proven? Yes. A plaintiff may recover damages for assault though no physical injuries are shown, based on the plaintiff’s reasonable apprehension of physical harm.
The plaintiff indicated that he would commit an assault on the defendant if the judges were not in session.
Tuberville v. Savage
Assault: Do a plaintiff’s threatening remarks, with no corresponding action, constitute an assault? No. Assault requires an intention plus an action that, at minimum, creates a genuine fear of contact by the actor.
The defendant caused the plaintiff severe emotional distress after falsely informing her that her husband had been injured in a car accident.
Wilkinson v. Downton
Assault: Is the defendant liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress when he intentionally acted, though he did not intend to cause emotional distress? Yes. Emotional distress is recoverable if caused by a defendant’s intentional act, even if the defendant had no intent to cause emotional distress.
The defendant damaged the plaintiff’s crops when he went onto the plaintiff’s property to retrieve thorns that had fallen there when the defendant trimmed rose bushes on his adjoining property.
The Thorns Case
Formative Strict/Negligence: Is the defendant liable for damages to the plaintiff’s land when he did nothing more than enter the plaintiff’s land to retake his thorns? Yes. Liability in trespass may be based on a voluntary act that produces an invasion of another’s land. D may have had a right to take the thorns but had no right to damage P's land.
Both parties were performing military musket practice when the defendant’s musket accidentally discharged, wounding the plaintiff.
Weaver v. Ward
Formative Strict/Negligence: Is the defendant liable for the plaintiff’s damages when the harm resulted from an unintentional act? Yes. The defendant would be excused from liability for trespass only if he were utterly without fault, if the accident was inevitable, and if he had committed no negligence.
Defendant's horse was frightened and bolted, striking plaintiff.
Gibbons v. Pepper
Formative Strict/Negligence: If A takes the hand of B and hits C, then A is the batterer, not B. But if it is by B's action (spurring the horse) then B is responsible.
The defendant threw a lighted gunpowder squib, which was then picked up and tossed by several others before it exploded in the plaintiff’s face.
Scott v. Shepherd
Forms/Trespass and Case: Is the defendant liable to the injured plaintiff, when the plaintiff would not have been injured but for the intervening actions of third parties? Yes. Despite intervening actions, the causal chain of liability was not broken and the plaintiff’s injury was caused by the direct and immediate act of the defendant.
This case allowed plaintiffs to sue in case, no matter whether the harm was immediate or consequential, as long as the plaintiff could show negligence.
Williams v. Holland
Breakdown of the Forms: Trespass was available for all immediate harms, whether willful or negligent.
The defendant was trying to separate two fighting dogs when he accidentally struck the plaintiff in the eye with a stick, causing a serious eye injury.
Brown v. Kendall
Negligence/Strict: If the defendant’s act is lawful, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant did not use ordinary care. At trial, the plaintiff must come prepared with evidence to show either that the intention was unlawful, or that the defendant failed to use ordinary care. If the injury was unavoidable, and the conduct of the defendant was free from blame, he will not be liable.
The floor of the defendant’s reservoir, built on his land, collapsed and flooded mine shafts on the plaintiff’s land. Rylands needed water for his steam-powered textile mill, so he hired a contractor to dig a reservoir. The reservoir burst through an abandoned coal shaft, flooding Fletcher’s active coal shafts and causing him to permanently cease work. Rylands did not know that the coal mines were beneath the ground.
Fletcher v. Rylands (trial court)
Negligence/Strict: Was the defendant liable for the damages to the plaintiff’s land? No. If one does a lawful act on his own premises, he cannot be held responsible for injurious consequences that may result from it, unless there is actionable negligence. Where there is no trespass and no negligence, there cannot be liability.
The floor of the defendant’s reservoir, built on his land, collapsed and flooded mine shafts on the plaintiff’s land. Rylands needed water for his steam-powered textile mill, so he hired a contractor to dig a reservoir. The reservoir burst through an abandoned coal shaft, flooding Fletcher’s active coal shafts and causing him to permanently cease work. Rylands did not know that the coal mines were beneath the ground.
Fletcher v. Rylands (appeal)
Negligence/Strict: Was the defendant strictly liable for the damages to the plaintiff’s land? Yes. A person who for his own purposes keeps on his land anything likely to do harm if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and if he does not do so, is prima facie liable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape.
The defendant’s horses, frightened by a railroad engine, became uncontrollable and broke the plaintiff’s lamppost.
Brown v. Collins
Negligence/Strict: Was the defendant strictly liable for property damage caused by runaway horses? No. A person is not liable for damage if it was not caused by any fault on his part. Rylands-type strict liability is incompatible with the industrial age.
Plaintiff sued for damages that resulted when the defendant’s boiler, while being operated with all care and skill, exploded and was projected and thrown onto the plaintiff’s premises, causing damage to the buildings located thereon.
Losee v. Buchanan
Negligence/Strict: Someone is not responsible for any damage they accidentally and unavoidably do to his neighbor. The neighbor receives his compensation for such damage by the general good, in which he shares, and the right to place the same things on his lands.
Vaughan sued his tenant, Menlove, for losses caused by a fire and obtained judgment in his favor. Menlove rented property and placed haystacks on it near Vaughan’s cottages. Neighbors warned Menlove that it was a fire hazard, and Menlove said he’d “chance it.” He placed a chimney in the hastack, but it still caught fire and burned down Menlove’s barn and stables and Vaughan’s cottages.
Vaughan v. Menlove
Reasonable Person Standard: Is the determination of negligence made with reference to the defendant’s actual knowledge? No. Negligence is determined objectively, based on the standard of care a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances.
A 12 year old wrecks a speed boat
Dellwo v. Pearson
Reasonable Person Standard: In this case, the child was held to the adult standard of care. The Restatement holds a child to the standard of a reasonably careful person of the same age, intelligence, and experience.
Veith was driving and following a white light on the car in front of her, believing God was directing her car. She accelerated toward an on-coming truck in order to become airborne like Batman. At trial, her insurance company argued that she was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because she had no way of knowing she would be subject to a delusion. Breunig insisted that she had experienced similar incidents in the past.
Breunig v. American Family Ins. Co.
Reasonable Person Standard: Can insanity serve as a defense to negligence when the insanity should be anticipated? No. A sudden, unanticipated event related to a known mental illness may not serve as a defense to negligence.
An institutionalized person harms a caregiver in a fit.
Gould v. American Family Mutual Insurance
Reasonable Person Standard: In cases where someone is institutionalized, the Breunig rationale isn't applicable. The caregiver has allocated the risk on themselves. Mental illness is a defense.
Fletcher, a blind pedestrian was injured when he fell into a trench that had no guards placed around it. City workers had dug a ditch in a parking strip adjacent to a sidewalk. Barriers had been previously set up, but removed by a worker. Fletcher was injured. The jury found that the city was negligent in failing to replace the barricades.
Fletcher v. City of Aberdeen
Reasonable Person Standard: Is a requirement of reasonable warning fulfilled when the warning cannot be detected by one with no sight? No. When creating a danger on a public thoroughfare, the one creating it must give notice of its existence such that all who encounter it will be reasonably protected from injury.