The word ?torts' is used to denote many civil wrongs. A tort is defined in formal terms as a civil wrong which gives rise to an action for damages, other than the one which is exclusively breach of contract or breach of trust or other equitable obligation. As common law, the law of torts grew up without a unified structure. The English law of torts still appears to consist of a list of over seventy wrongs. It is still true to say that at common law we have a law of torts rather than a law of tort since the difference between one tort and another can still be a significant issue. The English adopted a bi-focal structure with one group in which the torts focus upon the particular right which is infringed and another group in which the torts focus generally upon the fault of a defendant, irrespective of any infringement of a particular right.
[...] The tort of battery will not be commited where a touching is a part of everyday life. Source materials Trespass (battery) Scott v Sheperd (1773) 2 Black W 892 Facts : The defendant threw a lighted squib into a crowded market place. The suib landed in the stall of man named Yates. Yates quickly threw it out of his stal land it landed in the stall of a man named Ryal. Ryal also quickly threw the squib from his stal land it fit the plaintiff in the eye and exploded. [...]
[...] It was held that the applicant was unlawfully detained. The governor immediately released the applicant. The applicant pursued a claim for false imprisonment against the governor. The primary question is whether in the circumstances the governor is liable to compensate the applicant for false imprisonment. It is common ground that the tort of false imprisonment involves the infliction of bodily restraint which is not expressly or impliedly authorised by the law. The plaintiff doesn't have to prove fault on the part of the defendant. [...]
[...] The effect of that principle is that everybody is protected not only against physical injury but against any form of physical molestation. As a general rule, physical interferebce with another person's body is lawful if he consents to it, except specific cases. There's also a general exception embracing all physical contact which is generally acceptable in the ordinary conduct of everyday life. It has been said recently that the touching must be hostile to be a trespass of battery. Furthermore, in the case of medical treatment, we have to bear well in mind the libertarian principle of self determination. [...]
[...] Question of law : The question here is whether the injury received by the plaintiff arises from the force of the original cat of the defendant, or from a new force by a third personn. The question is if the injury is the direct and immediate act of the defendant. The throwing of the squib was an act unlawful and tending to affright the bystanders. So far, mischief was originally intended. Any innocent person removing the danger from himself to another is justifiable. JUDGE BLACKSTONE (dissenting) In his opinion, an action of trespass doesn't lie in this case. Trespass may sometimes lie for the consequences of a lawful act. [...]
[...] Medical treatment is not part of the exception concerning the ordinary events of everyday life. There exists in teh common law a principle of necessity which may justify action which would otherwise be unlawful in doubt. But this principle has been seen to be restricted to two groups of cases, which have been called cases of public necessity and cases of private necessity. There is, however, a third group of cases. These cases are concerned with action taken matter of necessity to assist another personn without his consent. [...]
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