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									                                      THE LAW OF TORTS



INTENTIONAL TORTS—BATTERY

INTENT AND VOLITION

Vosburg v. Putney (1891)

        In this case the plaintiff, a 14 year old boy, was kicked in the shin by a 12 year old boy at
school after class was called to order. The court had to decide what kind of intent was
necessary in a battery case. The defendant tried to argue that he had no intent to harm the
plaintiff. In an assault case, the defendant would have won because in an assault, the
“intention to do harm is of the essence.” (p. 2) However, since this was a battery case, all the
plaintiff has to do is prove that the intention was unlawful or that the defendant is in fault. If
the intended act is unlawful, then the intention is unlawful. Even though the defendant did not
mean to cause harm, he did intend to kick his legs (not necessarily at the plaintiff). Since such
activity in a school setting is wrongful, then the intent is unlawful.

VOSBURG RULE: If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be
unlawful.

From this case the necessary elements of battery:

(1) Intention was unlawful OR

(2) Defendant is at fault.

Knight v. Jewett (1990)

        Knight and Jewett were engaged in a touch football game when Jewett ran over Knights
hand while going for a catch. From this case we determine that a requisite element of battery
is intent. An accidental wrongful act is not an intent to cause that act.

KNIGHT RULE: An accidental wrongful act is not an intent to cause the act.

White v. University of Idaho (1989)

       The plaintiff brought suit in this case against her piano teacher who she claims
“offensively touched her” when he put his hands on her back to show her how to stroke the
keys.
WHITE RULE: The intent element of the tort of battery does not require a desire or purpose to
bring about a specific result; it is satisfied if the actor’s affirmative act cause an intended
contact which is unpermitted and which is harmful or offensive.

§ 18. (RESTATEMENT OF TORTS 2ND)

BATTERY: OFFENSIVE CONTACT

AN ACTOR IS SUBJECT TO LIABILITY TO ANOTHER FOR BATTERY IF:

       (a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the
other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact AND

       (b) an offensive contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results.



INSANITY DEFENSES AND INTENTIONAL TORTS

POLMATIER V. RUSS

In this case

								
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