This article is written by Shraddha Jain, a student of the Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. In this article we will discuss the concept of intentional tort; we’ll learn what an intentional tort is, as well as examples and common types of intentional torts. The article further discusses the essentials, damages, and defenses used in intentional tort along with the precedents set by the courts in various judgments.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.


Tort law is used in the United States to restore damages done to an individual by someone else’s action that falls below a minimum standard of care imposed by the civil courts. Torts can be of three types, i.e., intentional tort, negligent tort, and strict liability tort. An intentional tort occurs when a person performs an act with the intention of inflicting hurt or injury on another person. The mentality or intent of the wrongdoer distinguishes this type of tort from the other two, negligent and strict liability torts. In a negligent tort, the individual committing the tort did not intend to cause injury and in a strict liability tort, the individual is held accountable irrespective of intention or safeguards are taken. In this article, we will focus on intentional tort, how it originated and how it evolved through time from various judgments.

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Origin of intentional tort

In the late nineteenth century, Frederick Pollock and Oliver Wendell Holmes presented a comprehensive theory of intentional tort, which became recognized as the ‘prima facie tort doctrine’ by the courts. However, before the late 1800s, tort law did not have a classification known as ‘intentional tort.’ A theory established by Oliver Wendell Holmes and refined by various academics, most notably Frederick Pollock and Melville Bigelow, divided tort law into three categories: intentional conduct causes of action, negligent conduct causes of action, and strict liability causes of action. The notion of intentional tort started with this scheme.

In the modern sense, the ‘classic’ intentional torts are intentional intrusions with the individual, such as assault, battery, or false imprisonment, as well as intentional disruptions of personal property and real property. However, before the late nineteenth century, neither of these torts included intentional harm by the defendant as a component. Before Holmes conceived of American tort law, all classic intentional torts relied on strict liability.

What is an intentional tort 

A tort is defined as an act or omission that causes injury or harm to another individual and constitutes a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. In the context of torts, ‘injury’ refers to the violation of any lawful right, whereas ‘harm’ refers to a monetary loss or damage that an individual experiences.

Torts are classified into three types: intentional torts (e.g., striking someone on purpose), negligent torts (e.g., causing an accident by not obeying traffic laws), and strict liability torts.

An intentional tort is a sort of tort that can only emerge from the defendant’s intentional behavior. According to the particular tort, either generic or specific intent must be established.

Consider the scenario of a mechanic placing an air conditioning unit on a third-floor balcony as an illustration of how intent is required in any intentional tort. If the unit drops from his grasp and breaks the arm of a lady passing below, it is not constituted as an intentional tort. The mechanic could still be held accountable for the damages if he had exercised greater caution; however, this would be on the basis of carelessness, which is a distinct area of tort law. If, on the other hand, the mechanic spots a doctor going down the road and pushes the air conditioning unit, causing it to drop on and paralyze the doctor, this would constitute an intentional tort.

The distinction between intentional and unintentional torts is based on public policy issues. One of the law’s key purposes is to prohibit socially destructive behavior. Because the injury is more closely tied to someone’s acts in situations of intentional torts than in instances of negligence, the law normally sanctions a more severe penalty in cases of intentional tort. In intentional tort cases, for example, courts are more likely to order the defendant to pay punitive damages to the plaintiff, in addition to compensating the plaintiff for his or her pain and suffering, in order to punish the defendant for his or her illegal behavior. The purpose is to prevent individuals in similar situations from acting, so they think twice before acting.

Examples of intentional tort

Some examples of intentional torts are as follows:

  1. A child named A kicks B during recess, causing significant injury because B already has a handicap. A is unaware that B is handicapped, but he is aware that striking someone may cause suffering. This is intentional tort because A ‘intended’ to kick B and knew the ‘act’ would cause damage. The ‘real cause’ of the damage wouldn’t have happened if A had not pushed or struck B.
  2. A and B get into an argument, and A smacks B in the face, breaking his nose. A feels bad because, while he was angry and planned to punch B, he did not mean to fracture his nose. B wins his lawsuit against A for medical expenses connected to the injuries. The court determines that, although A did not mean to break B’s nose, he did intend to hit him and was aware that doing so may result in damage.

Essential elements of intentional tort

To establish an intentional tort, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted with the explicit intent to conduct the actions that inflicted the injuries or damage. The defendant is not required to understand that the act will cause harm; only that the act will have consequences is required. Certain factors must be present in order to effectively sue another individual for intentional tort:

Usually, intentional torts contain the following elements: intent, act, result, and causation.


The concept of “intent” under Restatement (Second) of Torts § 8A requires that the person either wishes for or believes that the outcomes of his actions are essentially certain to occur. This component normally requires the defendant to want or know with a high degree of confidence that certain events will happen as a consequence of his actions. As a result, for the objectives of this Section, the word “intent” always encompasses either want or awareness with a high degree of certainty.

The intention to commit an intentional tort does not need to be malicious. The purpose for which the law is looking is merely the desire to perform the act. If we revert back to the air conditioning case illustrated shortly before, it makes little difference from a legal point of view whether the mechanic dropped the unit intentionally to injure the doctor or if he just intended for the unit to tumble down in front of the doctor as a prank to scare him. Because the unit was dropped on purpose, the law deems it an intentional tort, even though no injury was intended.

On the contrary, if the defendant’s only fault is that he ought to have known better, he will not be held accountable for an intentional tort. This may happen if, unlike the cases above, A fires a pistol in a remote region of the desert for entertainment, not intending to hurt anybody, but the shot does hit somebody. A had no intention or awareness of a substantial likelihood that somebody would be hit in this circumstance. He might, however, be held accountable for another tort, namely negligence, but not for an intentional tort.

Transferred intent

The legal concept of “transferred intent” states that intention can be transferred from one plaintiff or tortfeasor to another. In tort law, transferred intent is commonly applied in five areas: battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, and trespass to chattels. Generally, any desire to commit any of these five torts that results in the commission of any of the five tortious actions is regarded as intentional conduct, regardless of whether the actual target of the tort is someone different than the initial intended target.

For example, if D meant to commit the intentional tort of assault, but his actions instead or additionally result in battery, he will be held accountable for battery even though he did not intend to do it.


The act requires the individual to commit an act that causes harm or injury to another person. Acting does not consist of considering or planning to do an act; an actual act has to be performed. The conduct that gives rise to the defendant’s liability should be performed voluntarily. The constituents of an act differ depending on the tort at hand, but they all involve voluntariness. For example, if A experiences a muscular spasm that causes his arm to fling out to his side and strike B, who is seated beside him, any claim B brings against A for battery will be dismissed due to a lack of the essential act, that is, the act was not performed voluntarily.


This component often relates to harm. This means that some harm or damage has to occur as a result of the act done. But in some of the intentional torts, such as trespass to land, it is not necessary to prove that actual damage or harm has been caused as a result of the act.


Here, causation means that there has been a violation of a legal right or that actual injury has been caused as a consequence of an improper act or omission. It means there should be a real or proximate connection between the harm caused (the result) and the act done. This element requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the injuries or harm would not have happened if the defendant’s conduct, or causes, had not occurred.

Common intentional torts 

Intentional torts are unjust acts committed by someone who plans, executes, and is fully conscious of their conduct. Battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress are examples of common intentional torts.

Let’s discuss each of these common intentional torts in brief.


Battery is an intentional tort claim that occurs whenever anyone knowingly and unfairly affects another individual. Battery is the legal word for hitting anyone or otherwise touching someone in an objectionable way with the intent of causing another person to be afraid of such contact. Battery occurs whenever anyone punches, pushes, kicks, pinches, strikes, or slaps another person.

Example: A acts with the aim of making contact with B without B’s agreement, and detrimental contact occurs.


An assault is defined as an attempt at the battery or frightening damage when no battery occurs. An assault occurs when one person acts intentionally in such a way that another person reasonably expects (or fears) damaging or offensive touch. The focus of this offense is the stress, mental discomfort, emotional trauma, and other adverse consequences caused by the defendant’s activities.

For example, if a person shouts, “I’m going to stab you,” but there is no weapon available, this might not be deemed assault since there is no true intent to inflict damage at that time.

If Draco fires his wand at Harry, but Harry jumps just in time and the impact is felt by Hermione by mistake, English law (and American law) would shift Draco’s intent from the goal to the true victim of the crime. As a result, Hermione might sue Draco for violence and any resulting damages from the assault.

False Imprisonment

The act of confining any person against their will without legal permission is referred to as “false imprisonment.” A person is not permitted by law to limit the mobility of another person without that person’s permission. A defendant may be held accountable for false imprisonment if he or she imprisons the plaintiff or restricts his or her right to movement by using real force or threatening force.

Example: If a security guard or a police officer imprisons a person for an excessive period of time because of their appearance or usage of religious symbols, then this detention would fall under false imprisonment.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

When a person consciously or negligently participates in excessive and absurd behavior that is very likely to cause significant mental distress, he is responsible for the intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). Excessive or outrageous behavior is difficult to define in precise words and is usually left up to the jury or court to determine, but it is widely defined as exceeding all imaginable boundaries of morality and being completely intolerable in a civilized society.

In one of the cases from early California, bill collectors frequently visited the debtor’s house and intimidated the debtor’s pregnant wife. They alleged, among many other things, that the woman would have to deliver her baby in jail. The wife miscarried and suffered from both emotional and physical consequences. The Court determined that the conduct of the collection company’s two employees was severe enough to establish the tort of intentional infliction of mental distress.

In another case, Roche v. Stern (New York), 1998, the corpse of decedent Deborah Roach was cremated, and a part of her remains was handed to respondent Chaunce Hayden. Against the family’s wishes, Hayden discussed Deborah’s demise and the disposal of her remains with cable talk show host and respondent Howard Stern in 1995. While examining various pieces of bone, the respondents offered remarks about the remains. Respondents were sued by appellants, the decedent’s family members, for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court reasoned that a jury could logically conclude that the component of outrageous behavior was satisfied as a matter of law because the ways in which the deceased’s remains were treated, for entertainment purposes and also against her family’s express desires, exceeded the bounds of decent behavior.


Fraud is defined as a false or untrue depiction of a fact made with an awareness of its falsehood or even without belief in its truth, or a careless statement made with the intention of inducing a person or individual to act independently of it, with the consequence that the person acts on this and suffers damage and loss. In other words, the act of purposefully misleading another person or organization for monetary advantage

In the matter of R. v. Barnard, 1837, a buyer who misrepresented himself as a university member by wearing the university dress and cap to obtain money was held accountable since this behavior amounted to fraud.

A person portraying someone else passed the driving test in the case of Idrees v. Director of Public Prosecutions, 2011. The Court ruled that deceptive representation constituted fraud.


Defamation is defined as any deliberate false statement, whether written or spoken, that hurts a person’s reputation; reduces respect, esteem, or trust in a person; or generates critical, hostile, or unpleasant attitudes or sentiments against a person.

For example, John said, “A stole a watch from B’s house,” if this statement is false, and making this statement harms A’s reputation or ability to work, then it will be considered defamation.

Invasion of privacy

Invasion of privacy is the unlawful intrusion into another person’s private life without their consent. The precise form of the invasion of privacy differs by nation; however, there are four sorts of breaches of privacy in general:

  • Invasion of solitude, whenever anyone interferes with another person’s right to remain alone.
  • Public publication of private information.
  • Misleading light, in which an individual publishes incorrect but non-defamatory information about someone else in order to create a false impression about that individual; and
  • Appropriation, which is the illegal use of another person’s image for profit.

For example, a neighbor might invade your privacy by peering through your windows or photographing you in your house.


Trespass is defined by law as an unlawful entry onto land. Trespass was originally defined as an improper action that directly caused harm or loss, and it was therefore the genesis of tort law in common-law nations. Trespass is currently typically limited to concerns regarding real property. Trespass to land and trespass to chattels are the two types of trespass. Trespassing on land is defined as the intentional intrusion or use of another person’s property. Trespass to chattels is defined as the wrongful interception of another person’s personal possession (i.e., a car, an animal, a computer, an instrument, etc.).

Trespassing through obstruction on another person’s land can be classified as striking a nail into a person’s wall, placing anything against the plaintiff’s wall, planting trees on the plaintiff’s property, or installing any property on the plaintiff’s land, etc.


Whenever anyone steals someone else’s property and transforms it into their own or otherwise destroys or ruins it, and because of this, the actual owner of that property is deprived of using it, then it is known as “conversion.”

For example, if someone takes another person’s horse to ride and then leaves him in an inn, it is a conversion because the owner may get his horse back but must pay for its upkeep.

Defenses to intentional tort

Some of the affirmative defenses that can be used in intentional torts are as follows.


Consent can be used to defend against any intentional tort, though the absence of consent is sometimes included in the definition of an intentional tort, such as trespass to land. However, in such cases, a lack of permission is not necessarily required to establish a prima facie case. As a result, it should be viewed as an affirmative defense.


Self-defense is the most popular general defense in tort law. It is self-defense when a defendant uses appropriate force to safeguard his body or property or the property of some other person and hurts another person, and there is not enough time to report the incident immediately to the authorities. The amount of damage done should be proportionate to the severity of the situation. Self-defense is a common defense against battery.

Defense of property

As it can relate to personal property, this is generally used as a defense to trespass to land or trespass to property.


Necessity is commonly used as a defense against land trespass. There are two types of necessities: private and public.

Private necessity

Private necessity usually involves trespassing or tampering with another’s property by a person to defend himself or his property. For the duration of the emergency, one has the right to continue trespassing on or utilizing the person’s property. The private defense is a partial defense accessible to the defendant, which implies that if the defendant committed trespass and asserts the private necessity defense, he must still compensate for any damage to the plaintiff’s property caused by his trespass.

Public necessity

Any action performed by governmental authorities, officials, or private individuals to prevent a public tragedy that had the potential to affect the general population is referred to as a “public necessity.” This is used when a person commits trespass in order to defend a larger community.

It means that government officials who are in charge of discipline are permitted to use appropriate force in accomplishing their tasks. A police officer conducting an arrest, for example, is not responsible for battery if he or she uses appropriate force.

Damages in a case of intentional tort

Victims of intentional torts, like victims of other types of personal injury claims, are entitled to monetary compensation. Intentional tort damages may consist of compensatory damages like previous and future medical expenses, wage loss, future income loss, household expenses, suffering and pain, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairment, deformity, etc., whether obtained by settlement or by the judge’s decision.

Intentional tort settlements are determined by a variety of criteria, including the extent of the injuries experienced, the costs of repairing the injuries and losses, and sometimes punitive damages are also given.

Physical or emotional damages

A person who suffers bodily or mental harm as a result of an intentional tort can seek both pecuniary and noneconomic compensation.

Economic (special) damage

Economic damages are frequently referred to as “special damages.” They pay the plaintiff for easily quantifiable losses. Medical bills, missed earnings, medication prices, and hospital equipment expenses are common examples.

General (noneconomic) damages

Noneconomic damages, sometimes known as “generic damages,” compensate the victim for harms that are more difficult to quantify. Common instances include pain and suffering, mental discomfort, the loss of life’s pleasures, etc.

Damage to the plaintiff’s property

If the sole harm is to the plaintiff’s property, the damages are calculated differently. The intentional tort of conversion is an excellent example, as follows: conversion occurs when one individual assumes or exerts authority over the personal property of another. A successful plaintiff in a conversion action can apply to the court to either receive the property back or force the defendant to reimburse the fair market value of the property. If the property has already been restored, the plaintiff is entitled to reimbursement for the property’s loss of use during the period it was transformed. The reasonable rental value of the comparable property might be used to calculate the loss of usage.

Punitive damages

Furthermore, the victim of an intentional tort may be entitled to seek punitive damages in some cases, which are meant to penalize the offender and discourage future conduct.

Punitive damages are intended to penalize an offender and dissuade others from acting so. They are not meant to recompense a plaintiff for specific harm.

State law governs whether punitive damages are admissible and, if so, under what conditions. Some states require the plaintiff to establish malice, which is a more difficult bar to meet.

Intentional torts : civil cases vs. criminal cases

Although there is some resemblance, criminal and civil cases (i.e., willful torts) are not the same. Criminal cases include crimes committed against society or the state. Sentencing is thus intended to penalize the criminal with penalties or prison sentences. Civil suits, on the other hand, entail a wrong committed against another person or private party. The basic purpose of civil litigation is to pay damages to the victim.

For the same behavior, the components of an intentional tort may coincide with the components of a crime. A criminal conviction does not normally preclude a lawsuit for intentional tort against the same person from being launched. To be convicted of a crime, the state must show the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof in a civil action is generally met by a preponderance of the evidence (more probable than not) or clear and persuasive evidence. This is why, in certain situations, a defendant found innocent by a jury in a criminal prosecution can be held accountable for damages in a subsequent civil lawsuit.

Intentional torts can sometimes coincide with criminal offenses. For example, a plaintiff may bring an action for damages for both assault and battery if they argue that the defendant both put them in dread of being hit and then struck them, inflicting physical injuries. A claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress may be made with other claims based on the plaintiff’s mental pain.

What’s the difference between negligence and intentional torts

A tort is an unlawful conduct that causes physical harm or property damage to another person. A tort claim is a legal action filed to recover compensation for injuries sustained or loss of property. Intentional torts demand that the person who committed the act do so on purpose. This distinguishes it from other torts, such as negligence. Negligence is described as the failure to exercise due care, which causes harm or damage to another.

The mental condition of the tortfeasor, or the person who performs the act, distinguishes negligence from intentional tort. An intentional tort implies that the tortfeasor acted with the intention to conduct the act or to cause harm to a person or property.

Negligence simply implies that the defendant did not behave with the utmost care that the legislation requires. Because the intention is immaterial, the absence of intention is not a defense to a negligence claim.

Consider the following example: A’s vehicle collided with B’s vehicle at a stop sign. A was negligent if she was just not paying attention to traffic. All drivers are required by law to keep a close eye out for other vehicles. A disobeyed her duties by colliding with B’s vehicle. It’s an example of negligence.

Consider A and B to be co-employees. A was angry because B received a significant promotion that she believed should have gone to her. A planned to get her revenge by smashing her vehicle into B’s vehicle. A committed an intentional tort (battery) by acting with the intention to crash into B’s vehicle and destroy it or maybe injure B.

Intentional tort: an exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 1946

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) empowers plaintiffs to bring and pursue specific types of tort cases against the United States, possibly resulting in monetary compensation from the federal government. The FTCA establishes a wide waiver of sovereign immunity for tort claims brought against the United States, but it also has a number of exclusions, as mentioned under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a). The FTCA includes many carefully stated exclusions. The so-called intentional tort exemption is one of the more fascinating and controversial of these.

Subject to a substantial restriction, the intentional tort exemption typically protects the United States from claims deriving from assault, battery, false imprisonment, unlawful imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deception, or interfering with contractual rights.

The intentional tort exemption has insulated the federal government from accountability for alleged serious acts of wrongdoing by federal agents. In one case, Hallett v. US Dept. of Navy, 850 F. Supp. 874 (D. Nev. 1994), a group of women who claimed to have been sexually harassed by navy personnel during the 1991 Tailhook Convention sued the US under the FTCA “for the sexual assaults and battery allegedly performed by Naval officers at the Convention social activities.

The Court finally decided that the intentional tort exception barred the plaintiffs’ claims against the United States since the alleged sexual assaults were intentional tortious conduct.

Judicial precedents on intentional torts

On a regular basis, courts across the United States handle intentional tort cases, yet, some have helped set precedents for future judicial decisions. Some of these landmark cases are discussed below:

Garratt v. Dailey, 46 Wash. 2d 197, 279 P.2d 1091 (Wash. 1955)

The judgment in Garratt v. Dailey, 1955, is as follows:


It was a case from 1955 when a small kid named Brian snatched a chair from beneath Ruth Garratt as she sat down. Ruth collapsed and broke her hip as a consequence of Brian’s chair-pulling. Ruth sued Brian’s family, claiming that he behaved purposefully, causing her physical damage. The court ruled that, while Brian did not mean to cause harm, his actions did result in Ruth’s broken hip and awarded her $11,000 as damages. Brian’s family filed an appeal on the grounds that children under the age of five cannot be held guilty of deliberate harm. 


Does age play a role in evaluating whether an intentional tort is committed?


The Court determined that age has no bearing on intentional tort. The Court determined that the statute of limitations for battery applies to adults and that the fact that the defendant was under the age of six at the time of the alleged battery had no bearing on the outcome. The only time the defendant’s age matters is when establishing what he knew, as well as his expertise, capacity, and knowledge.

Bettel et al. v. Yim, [1978] 20 O.R. (2d)

The judgment in Bettel et al. v. Yim, 1978, is as follows:


Howard Bettel and a group of friends walked into Ki Yim’s business in 1976. The worker asked the guys to leave when they began acting inappropriately. Instead of leaving right away, the boys proceeded to the entrance of the business and started tossing wooden matches on the pavement. One of the matches caught fire, starting a minor fire inside the shop. The worker and shop owner extinguished the fire while Yim restrained Bettel with both hands. Yim’s forehead struck the plaintiff in the face while he clutched Bettel, inflicting significant damage to his nose and causing the plaintiff to collapse to the floor. Bettel filed a lawsuit against Yim, seeking damages for the assault. Bettel’s parents also filed a lawsuit for more than $1,000 for claiming medical expenses.


Should an intended offender be held responsible just for the reasonably foreseeable effects of his purposeful use of force, or should he be held accountable for all repercussions resulting from his intentional act?


The court presiding over the case decided in Bettel’s favor, noting that the act fell within the notion of battery. Though Yim had no intention of hitting Bettel in the nose, he was aware that his actions might be harmful. Bettel received $5,000, while his parents received the amount required to cover medical bills. The Court ruled that an individual is liable for any harm caused by his or her actions, even if the harm was unintentional.

It is not an incident when anything occurs as a consequence of a sequence of circumstances intentionally put in motion by the defendant, and, at the conclusion of that sequence of events, the defendant performs an action that causes an unintentional injury. It is this behavior for which the defendant must take full responsibility.

The criterion of reasonable foreseeability, which guides negligence assessment, does not apply in the case of an intentional tort such as a battery. 

White v. Muniz, 999 P.2d 814

The judgment in White v. Muniz, 2000, is as follows:


Helen Everly, a Beatrice Hover Personal Care Center member, had Alzheimer’s disease. Helen hit a personal nurse named Sherry Muniz in the jaw during her stay at the care center. Plaintiff sued for assault and battery, but the Court sided with the old woman and her granddaughter. On appeal, the Court determined that even though a mentally incompetent adult was unable to recognize the wrongfulness of her actions, she should be held liable for an intentional tort. The Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision and restored the jury verdict.


Does an intentional tort need evidence that the tortfeasor intended not just to touch another person but also that the touch would be damaging or objectionable to the other person?


To recover damages under an intentional tort theory, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant, notwithstanding her nature, intended to produce both contact and offensive or hurtful effects by her act but not the actual injury. The Court ruled that the jury had found that no such intention existed.

Houdek v. ThyssenKrupp Materials, N.A., Inc., 2012-Ohio-5685

The judgment in Houdek v. ThyssenKrupp Materials, N.A., Inc., 2012, is as follows:


The employee, Bruce R. Houdek, was tasked with relabeling goods on warehousing and distribution racks, which forced him to operate in the same aisles as side loader operators. A coworker failed to notice the employee’s position in the aisle and pushed a side loader down the aisle, injuring him. The employee filed a lawsuit, alleging that his employer, ThyssenKrupp Materials N.A., Inc., intended to harm him by instructing him to operate in the aisle with the awareness that injury was certain or nearly certain to happen. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer.

The appellate court overturned the decision, finding that the terms used in R.C. 2745.01(A) were in harmonic dissonance with the meaning of “substantially certain” in R.C. 2745.01(B) and that the jury opted to assume that paragraph (B) was a scrivener’s mistake. As a result, the appeals court ruled that an injured employee might establish an employer’s intentional tort by demonstrating that the employer acted with the intention to damage the employee or with the understanding that the harm was almost certain to happen. The employer filed an appeal.


Can an employee establish an employer’s intentional tort under R.C. 2745.01(A) by demonstrating that the employer acted with the intention of injuring the employee or with the knowledge that the harm was practically certain to occur?


The judge decided in favor of the plaintiff, noting that there was no indication that the employer planned or foresaw damage occurring.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on appeal that the appellate court mistakenly found that the legal definition of “substantially certain” in R.C. 2745.01 derived from a scrivener’s error. The Court ruled that R.C. 2745.01 confined remedies against employers for intentional torts to situations indicating an intentional purpose to injure an employee. An injured employee’s only remedy, if there was no willful intent to hurt, was via the workers’ compensation system. The court upheld the trial court’s decision since there was no indication that the employer meant to damage the employee by instructing him to work in the warehouse aisle.


Tort actions are how the typical American utilizes the court system and, combined with the breach of contract, form the great majority of civil proceedings in the American legal system. If the damage done to you is not a violation of the contract, it is most likely a tort, and you will seek tort redress.

Despite being classified as ‘torts’ alongside torts based on negligence, intentional torts are a totally distinct sort of action. Intentional torts come in a variety of forms. Some of these entail bodily harm or damage to a person’s property, character, emotions, or economic interests. In each case of intentional tort, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant meant to cause injury, although the purpose to do harm does not have to be aimed at a specific individual or be malicious, as long as the resultant harm is a direct outcome of the defendant’s acts. Intentional torts frequently enable punitive penalties, are rarely dischargeable by bankruptcy, and need proof of malicious intent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How can you establish an intentional tort?

To establish an intentional tort, you must show that the defendant acted knowingly in order to commit a hurtful act such as defamation or battery. You must demonstrate that you were hurt as a result of the defendant’s intended harmful activity and that you experienced losses for which you are entitled to compensation.

In intentional torts, what is the burden of proof?

In order to win a lawsuit based on an intentional tort, you must usually prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you must demonstrate that, more than likely, your version of the facts as stated is correct and qualifies you for reimbursement.

Who is responsible for intentional tort?

In most cases, the person who did the tortious conduct is held accountable for his or her acts as well as any resultant damages experienced by the victim.

However, if the antagonist(s) who performed the deliberate act did so while serving as agents of an organization, company, or other entity, that organization, company, or corporation might also be held accountable for the victim’s conduct and subsequent losses.

For example, a passenger and a public train conductor have a verbal dispute. The conductor violently assaults the passenger, fracturing his nose. The conductor represents the city as a governmental employee. As a result, the city may be held liable for the passenger’s medical costs and other damages.


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