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Torts

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					Torts
You and the Law
 11/17/2006
          Torts
• Criminal law – something
  wrong is a crime
• Civil law – something
  wrong is a tort
 Two Key Questions
• Who should be held
  responsible?
• How much should the
  responsible party pay?
 Terms in a Tort Case
• Plaintiff
• Defendant
• Remedy – something to make
  up for what was lost
• Reasonable Care – liable if you
  fail to use reasonable care
           Duties
• To do something you are not
  supposed to
• To fail to do something you
  are supposed to do
• Violation of a something you
  are allowed to do (careless)
   Sources of Duties
• Laws
• Court Decisions
• Societies values and common
  sense
         Settlement
• Many seek settlement    1 st

• If no settlement, go to trial
• 90% of tort cases settled
• Freq. dispute is not over
  liability but damages
            Issues
• Usefulness v. harm
 –Car is useful but can harm
• Individual choices
 –Alcohol
 –Smoking
 –Drugs
      Types of Torts
• Intentional Torts
 –Jim, mad at Mike, smashes Mike’s
  windshield
 –Jill, mad at Jane, writes letters to
  Jane’s friends about Jane’s drinking
• No damages under criminal
  court
• Negligence
  –Much more
   common
  –Failure to
   reasonable       care
  • Leaving water   on
    the floor
• Strict Liability
 – Doesn’t matter if you’re careful
  or not
 –Owners of dangerous animals
 –Highly dangerous activities
 –Manufacturers of dangerous
  products
 –Why do we have this?
     Burden of Proof
• Criminal case – slightest
  doubt, defendant is free
• Civil case – who has more
  than 50% of evidence
 –No one goes to jail for civil
  liability
   Who can be sued?
• Individuals, groups,
  businesses, organizations, gov,
  members of gov
• Employers for action of
  employees
• Parents for action of children
    Class Action Suit
• When entire class hurt
 –Whole town poisoned by
  drinking water

				
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