Chapter 3

Monday, May 13, 2013

3:14 PM

    Important Scope of Tort Law



    A wrongful act causing harm to the person or property of another

    • Identifies a set of circumstances that creates a right to claim compensation
    • A way of apportioning loss. (other ways include insurance and government compensation schemes


    Important Development of the tort concept



    Modern Law concepts

    • The fault of the defendant
    • Causation
      • Is the fault considered a cause of harm?


    Important Basis



    Unjustifiable injurious conduct that intentionally or carelessly disregards the interests of others.

    • Creates the deterrent effect: be more careful to not may consequences


    Strict Liability

    Liability that is imposed based upon causation regardless of fault.


    Public Policy

    Considerations or objectives that are considered beneficial to society as a whole.

    • Morals of the public


    No-fault insurance

    A system of compulsory insurance that eliminates fault as a basis for claims

    • Eg Canadian automobile accident claims


    Workers' Compensation

    Scheme in which employers contribute to a fund used to compensate workers injured in industrial accidents regardless of how the accident was occurred.

    • Inevitable price of doing business


    Vicarious liability

    Liability of an employer to compensate for torts committed by an employee during the course of his or her employment

    • Reasons
      • Employees has limited assets available
      • Fair that person who makes profit from an activity should be liable for any loss


    Important Intentional torts



    Unlawful entering without permission



    Threat of violence to a person.


    Physical contact with a person.


    Public Nuisance

    Interference with the lawful use of public amenities

    Private nuisance

    Interference with an occupier's use and enjoyment of her land


    False imprisonment

    Unlawful restraining or confinement


    False arrest

    Causing a person to be arrested without reasonable cause

    • A real risk liability

    Malicious Prosecution

    Causing a person to be prosecuted for a crime without honest belief that crime was committed

    • Someone who honestly makes a complaint to the police is OK, since there is honest belief.



    Making an untrue statement that causes injury to reputation of another person.

    • Libel
      • Written
    • Slander
      • Spoken
    • Requires publication (communicating statement with third party/public)


    • Defenses against charge:


    Absolute privilege

    Complete immunity from liability for defamation

    • The statements are true
    • In certain environments: parliamentary debate, court proceedings,…


    Qualified privilege

    Immunity through statement that was made in good faith


    Responsible communication on matters of public interest

    Defense used when publication of statement is in public interest and was done responsibly.




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