BUSINESS LAW 8
Intentional torts are usuallyperceived as unique because of their emphasis upon the state of mindof the defendant. In intentional torts cases, must find that thedefendant subjectively had the intention of inflicting a givenconsequence to the plaintiff (Edwards et al., 2009). It is criticalto point out that the plaintiff can seldom offer tangible proofconcerning the state of mind of the defendant other than throughshowing the actions that the defendant did, and requesting the juryto deduce his intent. In intentional torts, the defendant cannormally claim that the injury caused to the plaintiff was notintentional, but accidental. In this case, it is not feasible for theplaintiff to provide an X-ray of the brain of the defendant so as toact as proof (Edwards et al., 2009). Besides, in intentional torts,the jury has to find that the conduct of the defendant wasintentional as a fact to the case. This report will argue out theintentional torts displayed in a famous road rage incident in NYCity. The civil cases to be argued entail that of Mr. Smith, theRange Rover owner and Mr. Jones, a motorcyclist that suffered twobroken legs and became paralyzed from the waist downwards. Thus, thecase will focus on Mr.Smith versus Mr. Jonesclaim and a claim by Mr.Jones versus Mr. Smith.
Claim by Mr.Smith versus Mr. Jones
A Battery Claim
One of the cases that Mr. Smith(the Plaintiff) can present to the court against Mr. Jones (thedefendant) concerns the issue of battery. The presentation of theplaintiff to the court would be that the defendant was engaged inbattering him. When they were on the same road, the defendant wentbefore the plaintiff in a manner that distracted the plaintiff fromdriving well. The other motorcyclists that were together with thedefendant also distracted the driving of the plaintiff since theywere going before him and waiting for others while hitting his carfrom time to time. This distracted the way that the plaintiff wassupposed to drive giving him a difficult moment. Whenever theplaintiff tried to drive properly without disturbance on the road,the defendant together with the motorcyclists that accompanied himalways made it difficult for the plaintiff to drive. The defendant,together with those accompanying him made the plaintiff to stop hiscar severally, which was not the wish of the plaintiff. The plaintiffhad entered the road and did not expect any disturbance to comealong. Besides, the plaintiff did not expect that his car will be hitfrom time to time by annoying motorcyclists and had expected that hewould drive through the road without anyone interfering with hisdriving. From the way the defendant and other motorcyclists kept onsurrounding the vehicle of the plaintiff, the plaintiff felt insecureand made his family to feel in danger too. The movement of thedefendant before the plaintiff made it not possible for the plaintiffto drive well, and the plaintiff made a stop. Upon reaching on thestreets, some of the motorcyclists that were together with thedefendant hit the vehicle of the plaintiff and engaged him in a fightwhere they battered him directly.
From the issue presented by theplaintiff, it is evident that the defendant is subject to liabilityto the plaintiff for battery. This is because the defendant acted ina manner that intended to cause harmful and offensive contact withother motorcyclists to the plaintiff. This can be seen by thedefendant and his team hitting the vehicle of the plaintiff. Also,this can be seen by the defendant and his team moving and surroundingthe vehicle of the plaintiff. The defendant is also liable to theplaintiff for battery because he moved before the plaintiff and madethe plaintiff to stop his car, despite his desire to continuedriving. Moreover, battering also constitutes engaging a person intocontact with direct harm. Thus, since part of the team that was withthe defendant engaged the plaintiff in a harmful contact by directlyhitting his car and engaging him in a fight, the defendant can beindicated to have the intention of battering the plaintiff. The endresult of the plaintiff being hit and exposing him to harm can beseen as a planned intention to harm by the defendant going before hisvehicle, making the plaintiff to stop.
Defense to Battery
In this case, consent is one ofthe defenses to battery. The motorcyclists had made it known thatthey will be using the road for a friendly cycling. Therefore, anyonethat used the road was to go with the terms of the motorists. Thereason why the defendant, as well as other motorcyclists went on theroad and waited for others to come was because was one of theprinciples they had developed so as all of them stay close. So, whenthe plaintiff entered the road, the defendant concluded that theplaintiff knew the rules that the motorcyclists were using. The otherdefense that can be used in the case is that of self defense. Whenthe plaintiff hit some motorcyclists with his car, the defendantinclusive, the other motorcyclists tried to defend themselves so thatthe plaintiff could not hit some more motorcyclists since they wereoperating as a team.
An Assault Claim
Another claim that the plaintiffcan present before the court is that of assault. The plaintiff wouldpresent to the court that the defendant was following the plaintifffor quite some time (around 30 minutes) and most of the timessurrounded his car with other motorcyclists that they were with onthe road. When the plaintiff noticed that may be there was somethingdangerous that the defendant was planning, he started racing.However, upon the defendant noticing that the plaintiff was racing,he organized how other motorcyclists would race his vehicle andsurround it. This was what the other motorcyclists did and when theysucceeded, the defendant stopped in-front of the vehicle of theplaintiff making the plaintiff stop his vehicle, which was forcefulbecause the plaintiff had nowhere else to move to. Making of theplaintiff stop his vehicle and being surrounded by motorcyclists thatwere in the same group, as the defendant, made the plaintiff fear thelife of his family that was in the vehicle and that of his own.Later, the same people that were in the team of the defendantphysically attacked the plaintiff by bringing him out of his vehicle.
The issue presented aboveconcerning the liability for an assault, the defendant can be seen tobe liable for an assault because he seems to have acted in a mannerthat was intended to cause harm to the plaintiff. By the defendantmaking a stop before the plaintiff’s vehicle, which made theplaintiff to stop, the defendant acted in a manner that suggestedthat he had an intention to cause harm to the plaintiff. Also,through engaging the plaintiff in a race and then surrounding hisvehicle with the other motorcyclists that they were in the same teamwith the defendant suggested an intention to harm the plaintiff.Alternatively, by the accomplice of the defendant dragging theplaintiff out of the vehicle, there was a suggestion that theiractions were intended to do harm to the plaintiff.
Defense to Assault
The defendant can use consent asthe defense to the liability for an assault. In this case, thedefendant can claim that the motorcyclists had organized a leisureride, which they had made public. Therefore, by the plaintiffengaging in the race since he used the road meant for the ride, hehad agreed to the terms that the motorcyclists had agreed upon.Therefore, the plaintiff cannot claim that there was an intention toharm him.
Outrageous Conduct Resultingin Severe Emotional Distress
The plaintiff can also presentthe case against the defendant, where the conduct of the defendantcaused emotional distress. The plaintiff can present that, when thedefendant was on the road, he made the plaintiff to have emotionaldistress. When the plaintiff entered the road, he had not expectedthat there would be any person that that would destabilize hisemotions however, as he was driving, the defendant obstructed him bybringing his motorcycle that he was cycling before the plaintiff’svehicle. This made the plaintiff to make an emergency stop, whichdestabilized his emotional state as well as his wife’s. Because ofthe immediate halt, the plaintiff was incapacitated to alter even aword due to the fear that the incident installed in him.
From the issue, the defendant canbe considered to have caused emotional distress to the plaintiffbecause one can be seen to cause emotional distress to another incase he engages in an outrageous conduct that recklessly orintentionally causes emotional distress. In this case, the plaintiffsuffered from emotional distress out of the act of the defendant ofmaking him stop his vehicle immediately that rendered the plaintiffmum for some time due to the fear that he experienced.
Consent is the only defense thatthe defendant can use in this case. According to consent, theplaintiff knew that through engaging in a leisure ride, there waslikely to be disorganization of the riders. So, the plaintiff shouldhave expected to stop his vehicle at any time during the leisureride. Moreover, he had already seen that the motorcyclists rode in adisorganized manner. Thus, he should have expected that at anytime,disorganization could lead to an emergency stop, which he shouldconsent to.
Claim by Mr.Jones versus Mr. Smith
Mr. Jones, as the plaintiff inthe case, can present two liability claims against Mr. Smith, thedefendant. The two claims entail battery and assault. These twoclaims will be presented in the paragraphs that follow.
The plaintiff can present thatmotorcyclists had organized a leisure riding and he was among theparticipating motorcyclists. The motorcyclists had come up with rulesthat were to guide them during the leisure riding. One of theguidelines was that the motorcyclists were to move as one group andin case some motorists rode fast they could do so and wait for othersthat were slow so that they could ride together as a group. Anotherguideline was that no one should go mad because of anothermotorcyclist’s crazy cycling. Also, the motorcyclists had agreedthat anyone that needed to use a vehicle during the leisure ridecould do so and participate with others in the leisure drive. So,when the riding began, there emerged a SUV, which was owned by thedefendant and it was deemed to be part of the leisure ride as it hadbeen agreed upon by the motorcyclists. Therefore, the motorcyclistscould move fast while others were moving slowly, but just as it hadbeen agreed upon, those who rode fast were reaching a point andwaiting for others to reach them and rode together as one group.Besides, the motorcyclists used to move from one side of the road tothe other since it was meant to be a leisure ride. However, when thedefendant entered into the race, he first of all seemed to be part ofthe team because he could move along well with the rest of theparticipants but it reached a point where the plaintiff made a stopbefore him because he wanted to wait for other motorcyclists as ithad been agreed. At first, it seemed as if the defendant was going toheed the guidelines of the leisure ride, but he suddenly hit theplaintiff with his vehicle and rode fast.
From the issue, it can beperceived that the defendant has the liability of battery to theplaintiff. This is because the defendant acted in a manner that hadthe intention to harm the plaintiff the defendant was engaged inhitting the plaintiff with his vehicle. By the defendant hitting theplaintiff with his vehicle, he made an offensive contact to theplaintiff which can be considered as battery to the plaintiff.Therefore, a battery claim can be made against the defendant.
Defense to the Battery Claim
The defendant can use selfdefense as the defense in this claim. The defendant can claim that heacted in the manner he did because he was defending himself. When thedefendant entered the road, he had no expectation to engage orparticipate in the leisure drive, but was rather on his mission tothe city with his family. When he was on the road, he met a group ofmotorcyclists that were moving in a manner that caused fear on theroad because they moved from one side of the road to the other andused to surround his car in a manner that suggested causing harm tohim. Therefore, when the plaintiff made a stop before the defendant,the defendant associated the group with danger. So, the defendant hadto use force in order to escape from the danger that surrounded him.It was at this point that the defendant hit the plaintiff with hisvehicle. Besides, another defense that the defendant can use againstthe claim entails the defense of property. When the plaintiff made astop before the defendant’s vehicle, the defendant was surroundedby other motorcyclists that were part of the plaintiff’s team.Since the defendant was surrounded, he had to protect his car frombeing hit by the motorcyclists. It was at this point that theplaintiff was hit.
A Claim of Assault
The plaintiff can also present acase of assault against the defendant. The plaintiff can presentthat when they were participating in a leisure ride, the defendanthit him with his vehicle and the plaintiff suffered two broken legsand became paralyzed from the waist downwards. When participating inthe leisure ride, the motorcyclists assumed that the defendant waspart of their team so they rode according to the guidelines thatthey developed. However, upon the plaintiff stopping before thedefendant’s vehicle in order to wait for other motorcyclists, thedefendant hit the plaintiff with his vehicle and the plaintiffsuffered two broken legs and became paralyzed from the waistdownwards.
From this issue, this is anassault issue because the defendant acted in a manner that indicatedthat he had an intention of harming the plaintiff. The direct contactwith the defendant is indicated to make the plaintiff paralyzed.
Defense to Assault
In this case, the defendant canuse self defense and defense of property as his chief defense. It isout of the aggression that was inflicted by the plaintiff that madethe defendant to act in the manner that he did. Besides, thedefendant had to save his car and because he was surrounded, he hadto look for a way that he could save his vehicle. Therefore, hittingand injuring the plaintiff was not an intention of the defendant.
Edwards, L. L., Edwards, J. S., &Wells, P. K. (2009). Tortlaw for legal assistants.Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Road Rage Incident in New YorkCity. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVK77U8bgKc