In order to understand the intentional tort rule, you must first know what a tort is. The Legal Information Institute defines tort as:
“ . . .an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. In the context of torts, “injury” describes the invasion of any legal right, whereas “harm” describes a loss or detriment in fact that an individual suffers.”
There are a variety of actions that fit under tort law. These actions are subdivided, and intentional torts make up one of the subdivisions. The intentional tort is one in which a person has the intention of carrying out an action which causes harm to another person.
Intentional Action Resulting in Harm
A person can act intentionally without necessarily meaning to cause harm, however, if an injury occurs, the perpetrator can be found liable. The Legal Dictionary uses an example like this: Mr. Withers has a bad heart. Young Bradley and his buddies enjoy seeing elderly people jump when they are startled. Bradley and his friends make plans to frighten Mr. Withers. When they carry out their plans, Mr. Withers has a heart attack. The boys didn’t intentionally plan to give Mr. Withers a heart attack. Their intention was to startle him. Because their intention led to his heart attack, however, they are now liable under the intentional tort rule.
Common Acts Under the Intentional Tort Rule
There are many acts which fall under this rule. Among them are assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels (or movable property) and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In the above situation, the young men had the intention of inflicting emotional distress upon Mr. Withers, and they carried out their intention.
If you feel you have been the victim of an intentional tort, contact the law office of Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. We are caring lawyers whose excellence in service is known throughout the Port Charlotte, Englewood and North Port communities of southwest Florida. Contact us today for a free consultation.