read section titled: The Idea of Liability and The Idea
of torts: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow - take
notes on reading!
Questions from reading
What is remedy?
What is liability?
Give me an example of a settlement?
True or False? Trials are more common than
Is there a risk for not settling?
Explain this sentence from the reading: “Tort Law today
continues to balance usefulness against harm.”
Introduction to Torts
civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit
result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a
claim by the injured party
primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the
damages incurred and deter others from committing the
types of damages:
loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable
Expected earnings /losses
There are numerous specific torts including trespass,
assault, battery, negligence, products liability, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Torts fall into three general categories: intentional torts
(e.g., intentionally hitting a person); negligent torts
(causing an accident by failing to obey traffic rules); and
strict liability torts(e.g., liability for making and selling
Tort law is state law created through judges (common
law) and by legislatures (statutory law)
In "The Aims of the Law of Tort" (1951) Glanville
Williams saw four possible bases on which different
appeasement, justice, deterrence and compensation.
The law tends to emphasize different aims in relation to
intentional torts from those in relation to negligence or
There are relatively few tort claims available under
The most common federal tort claim is the 42 U.S.C. §
1983 remedy for violation of one's civil rights under
color of federal or state law, which can be used to sue
for anything from a free speech claim to use of
excessive force by the police.
Tort claims arising out of injuries occurring on vessels
on navigable waters of the United States fall under
federal admiralty jurisdiction.
sum of money the law imposes for a breach of some duty or violation of some
right. Generally, there are two types of damages : compensatory and punitive
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages in certain
Punitive damages are considered punishment and are awarded when the
defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful, but are normally not
awarded in the context of a breach of contract claim.
Ex. - A Mississippi jury on Thursday awarded $2.5 million in punitive
damages to a couple who sued State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. for denying
their claim after Hurricane Katrina
Damages awarded according to the amount of actual harm suffered by the
Compensatory damages are awarded before punitive damages are
considered. These are basically collected and awarded to make you “whole”
(ex. auto accident)
In Class Assignment