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APSC 450

TORT LAW

Gregory S. Miller, P.Eng., LLB


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Exam Hint #2

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Torts
Latin, meaning twisted or crooked
Covers area of civil wrongs
Mostly judge-made (common law)
Primary Objective compensation
Secondary Objective deterrence

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Development of Tort Law

Writ of Trespass

13th C
Responded to direct application of force
Became the intentional torts
Actionable Per Se no proof of damage

Writ of Trespass on the Case

14th C
Responded to indirect application of force
Became the unintentional torts
Damage must be proven

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Bases of Liability
Intention
Negligence
Strict Liability

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Intentional Torts
Battery
Assault
False Imprisonment
Defamation

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Battery
Intentional harmful or offensive contact
with another
Actionable Per Se
Intention relates to touching, not harm

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Assault
Intentional creation of apprehension of
imminent battery
Actionable Per Se
Reasonable belief of victim is sufficient

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False Imprisonment
Intentional wrongful confinement of
another person within fixed boundaries
Actionable Per Se
Must be complete confinement
Applies to everyone (incl. police)
Police have statutory protection

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Defamation
A false statement about a person to
his/her discredit
Publication to third person required
Truth is defence
Libel written / recorded

Actionable Per Se

Slander oral
Proof of damage required

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Unintentional Torts
Strict Liability
Negligence
Nuisance

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Strict Liability

The person who, for his own purposes,


brings on his land and collects and
keeps there anything likely to do
mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at
his peril; and if he does not do so, is
prima facie answerable for all the
damage which is the natural
consequence of its escape

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Negligence
ABC Rule

Duty of care exists


There has been a breach of that duty
Damage has resulted from the breach

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Duty:
See:
BC v. RBO Architecture [1994] B.C.J. No. 1297
Dha v. Ozdoba [1991] B.C.J. No. 303
Sergius v. Janax Design [1992] B.C.J. No. 302
Landview v. Simic Engineering [1994] B.C.J. No. 113

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Breach
See:

Hilton Canada v. S.N.C. Lavalin [1999] N.S.J. No. 188


White Rock Lodge v. BC Hydro [1993] B.C.J. No. 515

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Causation
See:

Metro Toronto Condo Corp. No. 902 v. Macklingate


Development Inc. [1998] O.J. No. 6229
Stanco Projects v. British Columbia 2006 BCCA 246
Mustapha v. Culligan of Canada 2008 SCC 27

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Nuisance
The unreasonable interference with the
use and enjoyment of land by its
occupier
Unreasonable guaged by:

Type and severity of harm


Character of locale
Abnormal sensitivity
Utility of conduct

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HEY, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

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