This is an activity or condition brought on by the defendant that substantially interferes with the right of the plaintiff to use or have enjoyment of his property. Defenses, such as assumption of the risk and coming to the nuisance, can be offered to refute tortious claims.
When a defendant makes a false statement about the plaintiff to a third party, and conveys the falsity as fact, a plaintiff can recover in a defamation suit so long as there is proof of damages as a result of the false communication. False statements communicated verbally by the defendant to a third-party constitute slander. Libel occurs when the false statement is communicated via writing.
How are negligent torts different from other torts?
Negligence is a failure to act in a reasonably safe manner. Unlike intentional torts, negligence suits allow for recovery when a defendant has failed to commit an act.
To recover for negligence, the plaintiff typically must prove that the defendant had a duty to act reasonably, and that the failure of the defendant to act in a reasonable manner was the direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Personal injury cases, such as traffic accidents or medical malpractice suits, typically fall within this category of tort law.
A plaintiff can be barred recovery if the plaintiff assumes the risk, either through express or implied consent. Most states have adopted a comparative-negligence standard. Under this doctrine, the plaintiff’s recovery can be proportionally limited dependent upon their own degree of fault. A few states follow the contributory negligence standard, which prohibits the plaintiff from recovery entirely if their negligence played a significant role in the injury suffered. Importantly, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have all adopted the contributory negligence standard. Given the potential for limits on recovery, it is critical to select legal representation that is familiar with negligence lawsuits.
What is a strict liability law?
Strict liability torts provide a plaintiff an opportunity to recover when the defendant’s carelessness may be unknown, but the plaintiff suffered damage as the result of defendant’s actions. Intentional and negligent torts are satisfied by showing a degree of fault on the part of the defendant, but in a strict-liability case, liability is imposed without regard to the defendant’s negligence or intent to cause harm. There are various forms of rules that impose strict liability, such as the instances listed below.
- Product liability claims: Can occur under strict liability. Under this rule, an injured plaintiff can recover from the product retailer on a strict-liability basis if the plaintiff can show that the injury suffered was the result of a defect in the product sold by the retailer.
- Respondeat superior: holds employers liable for the harms caused by the negligence or intentional torts of their employees. However, an employee has to commit the said act of negligence within the scope of his employment for the employer to be held liable.
Economic torts and fraud
The category of economic torts is composed of several different tort claims, most notably fraud. The tort of fraud is a material misrepresentation of a fact by the defendant, for the purpose of deceiving the plaintiff. Any economic loss suffered by the plaintiff as a result their justifiable reliance on the misrepresentation may be recovered.
In an effort to curtail fraudulent activity, the U.S. government has instituted qui tam whistleblower incentives, and the False Claims Act which prevents Medicaid fraud. These whistleblower statutes allow for private citizens to come forward and provide information on fraudulent behavior in exchange for a monetary reward. Since 2009, the Department of Justice has recovered over $13 billion in cases related to health care fraud.
What torts deal with invasion of privacy?
The invasion of privacy has steadily evolved over hundreds of years, and now provides citizens with remedies when their right to seclusion has been interfered with by another. The invasion of privacy is actually divided into four distinct categories, and each category can stand alone as its own individual civil claim.
Portrayal in a false light:
This invasion of privacy occurs when a defendant knowingly or with reckless disregard, publicizes private information about the plaintiff to place them in extreme embarrassment, or in a false light. The plaintiff is entitled to relief so long as a reasonable person would find the false light highly offensive.
Intrusion into solitude:
This tort typically occurs when the defendant intentionally intrudes upon the seclusion of another, or upon the matters the plaintiff seeks to maintain as private. If the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, then the plaintiff can seek damages. The defendant’s intrusion does not have to be physical, nor does the intrusion need to occur at the plaintiff’s home. Simply opening the plaintiff’s mail is enough to satisfy the elements of this tort.
Public disclosure of private facts:
If a defendant gives publicity to a matter concerning the private life of the plaintiff, the plaintiff may recover for damages so long as the defendant’s invasion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and the information disclosed is not of legitimate concern to the public.
How do I file my tort law claim?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a civil wrong, you may be entitled to recover compensation for: loss of expected earnings, reimbursement of tangible property, reasonable medical expenses, and potentially, punitive damages.
Contact The Cochran Firm
The attorneys of The Cochran Firm, D.C. have extensive experience in tort law claims. Whether the issue is a matter of personal injury or serious medical malpractice, we are committed to helping our clients. All initial consultations with our firm are free, confidential, and carry no obligation. We represent clients on a contingency basis, meaning there are no fees until you win. Because strict time deadlines may apply to filing your specific civil lawsuit, we recommend contacting us at your earliest convenience.