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What is battery?
- 1) Harmful or offensive contact
- 2) with the person of another
- 3) that is caused by
- 4) the intentional act of the defendant
What is the test for determining whether a contact is "harmful or offensive" for the tort of battery?
An objective test is used: what would a reasonable person find to be harmful or offensive?
- Built into this test is variance for different activities.
- A reasonable person would find a kick to the leg harmful or offensive in everyday life, but merely part of the game during a soccer match.
Will a person's hypersensitive characteristics be taken into account in determining whether a touching was harmful or offensive for battery?
Generally no, unless the tortfeasor was aware of the hypersensitivity.
- X is sensitive to taps on the shoulder. Y needs directions and taps X on the shoulder. X has not committed battery unless X knew Y was hypersensitive to taps on the shoulder.
What is included in the "person of another" for determining battery?
An individual's body and items closely associated with it, including clothing, accessories, and even animals such as dogs and horses.
What does "causation" entail for the tort of batter?
The intentional act must be either the DIRECT cause or the PROXIMATE cause of the offensive contact.
Proximate cause: R puts in false step as a joke on S. S falls when he steps on the false step. R is the proximate cause of S's injury.
Must a plaintiff prove actual injury to collect damages for a battery?
No proof of injury is needed. The harmful or offensive contact itself is harm enough.
What type of damages can a plaintiff collect for battery?
Nominal damages, which are awarded even if there is no actual injury.
Punitive damages, especially where the defendant acted with malice.
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