Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

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APHill
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Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby APHill » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:20 am

I was really confused why we covered Vosburg, which is completely different from battery definition in the 2nd restatement. The professor refuses to clarify. Is Vosburg a valid common law or an antiquated exception that has been overruled long time ago? Should I just use 2nd restatement battery definition and call it a day?

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traehekat
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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby traehekat » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:30 am

The Restatement is a little confusing. "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . . " does not actually mean that the act has to be done with the intent to actually cause harm. This is kind of explained in the opinion... "If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be unlawful." The reason the Restatement doesn't just say, "Intending to cause an unlawful act . . . " is because it would be circular reasoning. "An unlawful act is committed when the act is unlawful," is basically what it would be saying.

Basically, if the defendant intended the act itself, and the act is wrongful in the sense that it is a harmful or offensive conduct is SOME manner, he is responsible for ALL the harm that results from it, whether it could or could not be foreseen.

Vosburg establishes, as far as I know, a still valid doctrine.

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ben1185
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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby ben1185 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:36 am

Torts is interesting because different jurisdictions have different rules. The Restatement isn't the end all be all. Thus, you now have one way of getting points on a Law School exam. When asked a battery question you can talk about the Vosburg rule AND the restatement rule. Keep doing this and you'll be on your way to an A in no time.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby traehekat » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:02 am

ben1185 wrote:Torts is interesting because different jurisdictions have different rules. The Restatement isn't the end all be all. Thus, you now have one way of getting points on a Law School exam. When asked a battery question you can talk about the Vosburg rule AND the restatement rule. Keep doing this and you'll be on your way to an A in no time.


Is this to say the Vosburg rule is in conflict with the Restatement? If so, then I must be confused!

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Duralex
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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Duralex » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:26 am

Vosburg is one of the "thin skulled plaintiff" cases right? We didn't read it but it was mentioned, summarized for us and briefly discussed. I was not given the impression that it conflicts with the rule you'll find in the restatement so much as shows how it developed by adaptation to certain circumstances (which leads to learning additional rules.) However, keep in mind that Vosburg itself is a Wisconsin case and so formally was (and is, I suppose) persuasive authority at best in most courts. It did not create the "thin skull" rule at common law, but rather demonstrates it. I got the sense that when it is assigned (or discussed) the idea is to get law students thinking about some of the questions it raises about intent (or substantial certainty) and causation when there is some pre-existing vulnerability (i.e. aggravation of an extant injury, or brittle bones) as well as questions of time and place where the potentially tortious act is done (in the schoolroom during class vs. on the schoolyard during recess)

Also:
APHill wrote:I was really confused why we covered Vosburg, which is completely different from battery definition in the 2nd restatement.


ALI started publishing Restatements in the 1920s. The Second Restatement of Torts began publication in 1965. Vosburg is from 1890. Giving the opinion a quick once-over, the rule isn't "completely different" but you don't see it stated as clearly in Vosburg, because the court is focusing on what intent to harm means. The point of the Restatements is to compile and clarify the common law.

EDIT: I got curious about jurisdictional split and the application of these kinds of cases beyond their origins, etc. I found this, which is kind of funny as it's Posner being amused at another potential "eggshell skull" case coming from Wisconsin (so there is no jurisdictional split) while seeming to suggest that Vosburg enjoys special authority anyway.

708 F.2d 1217
The district judge's finding on causation presents an interpretive problem. It can be read to mean that he thought the important thing was whether Mrs. Stoleson's possible heart attack in February 1968, which was due to the government's negligence in failing to protect her from excessive exposure to nitroglycerin, had caused her hypochondria, and that if it had not she could not recover damages for her hypochondriacal illness. So read, the finding would be inconsistent with the "thin skull" or "eggshell skull" or "you take your victim as you find him" rule of the common law. The substantive law of Wisconsin is conceded to govern this case, see 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b); and, by an odd coincidence, what has come to be the leading case announcing the eggshell skull rule is a Wisconsin case, Vosburg v. Putney, 80 Wis. 523, 50 N.W. 403 (1891), though it is not the earliest eggshell skull case even in Wisconsin, see Stewart v. City of Ripon, 38 Wis. 584, 590-91 (1875). In Vosburg, one school boy kicked another in the shin, in circumstances that made the kicking a battery. The kick would not have seriously injured a normal person, but the victim had an infection in his tibia and the kick aggravated the infection, causing serious injury. The court held the defendant liable for the entire damages. Although we cannot find any modern eggshell skull cases from Wisconsin, the rule is so well established in tort law (see, e.g., Prosser, Handbook of the Law of Torts 261 (4th ed. 1971)) that the government would have a heavy burden of persuading us that Wisconsin has abandoned it, and as a matter of fact has made no effort to persuade us of this.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby solidsnake » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:48 am

Below is an excerpt from my torts outline. I booked the class. Vosburg illustrates one court's approach to the "intent to cause harmful or offensive contact" requirement. Putney didn't intend to harm Vosburg but he did intend to contact him, and because this contact disrupted the decorum of the classroom (different result had the exact same intended contact occurred outside on the playground during recess), the court deemed it offensive contact , and therefore a battery. R2d's (2nd restatement) definition of offensive is that reasonable person must find the contact offensive, but Vosburg, which as someone pointed out was handed down well before R2d, didn't articulate, let alone use, that definition.

On your exams, you want to be able to drop as many variations of the law as possible as fodder for your arguments and counterarguments. Law exams are really liberating because there is essentially no stare decisis and your counterargument could be something like "the court should adopt Vosburg over R2d because X policy reason" or vice versa (incorporating relevant factual analysis to show which variation applies best to the facts in the hypo). Law exams are really quite free-form and easy.

a. Battery
(1) Intent to cause harmful or offensive contact (ex-ante)?
i. R2d: necessary
ii. White v. University of Idaho: intent to cause contact, and ex-post harmful sufficient
(2) Harmful = physical harm; subjective standard; eggshell
(3) Offensive = emotional or dignitary harm; objective; eggshell
i. What if def knew about pl's unreasonable extra-sensitivities? R2d no stance.
(4) Boundary-crossing Vosburg v. Putney
i. Def didn't intend harm but contact was made in "unlawful acts" context (e.g., class had already started and no longer out on the playground) = offensive
(5) Transferred intent, Talmadge
i. Can only be transferred between persons, not between chattel and person
ii. R2d: only between assault and battery
iii. Trad CL: between az, bt, trespass to chattel, trespass to land, false imprisonment
(6) Motive irrelevant for liability; relevant for damage award
i. UNFAIRNESS: judges allowed to use "deterrence" as rationale for tort rules, yet defs can't use deterrence as rationale for tortious conduct.
(7) Harmful or offensive contact must have resulted, ex post [dmg]
(8) Consent
i. Was the contact within the scope of consent? Mohr v. Williams (lack of informed consent vitiates all express consent-->surgery = battery; although majority still classify lack of informed consent as a neg)
(9) Failure to act can NOT be a battery
(10) Damages
i. Directness test, not foreseeability
Last edited by solidsnake on Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby MrKappus » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:52 am

traehekat wrote:The Restatement is a little confusing. "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . . " does not actually mean that the act has to be done with the intent to actually cause harm. This is kind of explained in the opinion... "If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be unlawful." The reason the Restatement doesn't just say, "Intending to cause an unlawful act . . . " is because it would be circular reasoning. "An unlawful act is committed when the act is unlawful," is basically what it would be saying.

Basically, if the defendant intended the act itself, and the act is wrongful in the sense that it is a harmful or offensive conduct is SOME manner, he is responsible for ALL the harm that results from it, whether it could or could not be foreseen.

Vosburg establishes, as far as I know, a still valid doctrine.


This brings me back and is, from my understanding, quite correct. You can either intend to cause harm with yoru contact, or you can intend to cause contact that's unlawful, in which case it does not matter if you "intended harm." Vosburg and R2d are not in conflict.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby APHill » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:31 pm

I really liked solidsnake's reply. I think Vosburg and Restatement are in conflict, however. I believe if it could be proven that Putney intended neither harm nor offence, there would be no intentional tort. Let us assume that you hug your high school girlfriend right after the class bell rings. Earlier today she had unknown spine disk dislocation, and your hug exacerbates it, paralyzing her. Vosburg application would lead to battery, while 2nd restatement would lead to negligence at best.

Solidsnake's going back interpretation of the Vosburg court reasoning to fit 2nd restatement definition is very inventive and sweet law exam material, but I am not sure if it is theoretically plausible. Vosburg never talks about offensiveness - however we can certainly nitpick the facts and say that it does via unlawfulness.

Any disagreement?
Last edited by APHill on Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby TTH » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:49 pm

APHill wrote:I really liked solidsnake's reply. I think Vosburg and Restatement are in conflict, however. I believe if it could be proven that Putney intended neither harm nor offence, there would be no intentional tort. Let us assume that you hug your high school girlfriend right after the class bell rings. Earlier today she had unknown spine disk dislocation, and your hug exacerbates it, paralyzing her. Vosburg application would lead to battery, while 2nd restatement would lead to negligence at best.

Any disagreement?


Disagreed. If the BF and GF hug regularly, I think a court would not consider it offensive contact, even if it violated the decorum of the classroom (like that wording btw).

Vosberg is a goofy rule anyhow.

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APHill
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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby APHill » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:03 pm

TTH wrote:
APHill wrote:I really liked solidsnake's reply. I think Vosburg and Restatement are in conflict, however. I believe if it could be proven that Putney intended neither harm nor offence, there would be no intentional tort. Let us assume that you hug your high school girlfriend right after the class bell rings. Earlier today she had unknown spine disk dislocation, and your hug exacerbates it, paralyzing her. Vosburg application would lead to battery, while 2nd restatement would lead to negligence at best.

Any disagreement?


Disagreed. If the BF and GF hug regularly, I think a court would not consider it offensive contact, even if it violated the decorum of the classroom (like that wording btw).

Vosberg is a goofy rule anyhow.


But Vosburg and Putney appear to have been lightly kicking each other and other students in the shin all the time. I am saying 2nd restatement would not lead to battery for Vosburg and Putney. Why is Vosburg rule goofy?

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Doritos » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:21 pm

MrKappus wrote:
traehekat wrote:The Restatement is a little confusing. "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . . " does not actually mean that the act has to be done with the intent to actually cause harm. This is kind of explained in the opinion... "If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be unlawful." The reason the Restatement doesn't just say, "Intending to cause an unlawful act . . . " is because it would be circular reasoning. "An unlawful act is committed when the act is unlawful," is basically what it would be saying.

Basically, if the defendant intended the act itself, and the act is wrongful in the sense that it is a harmful or offensive conduct is SOME manner, he is responsible for ALL the harm that results from it, whether it could or could not be foreseen.

Vosburg establishes, as far as I know, a still valid doctrine.


This brings me back and is, from my understanding, quite correct. You can either intend to cause harm with yoru contact, or you can intend to cause contact that's unlawful, in which case it does not matter if you "intended harm." Vosburg and R2d are not in conflict.


My prof said the RST and Vosburg are different in the fact that for Vosburg all that needs to be shown is that you intended the harmful and/or offensive contact but in the 2nd RST it must be shown that you intended the harmful and offensive contact and intended the consequences or were substantially certain the consequences of the action were going to occur. So applying the 2nd RST to Vosburg, the kicker would not be found liable for the dude's exploded leg because there was no way he could have been substantially certain that a tap on the leg would result in said damage. But under the Vosburg rule the "kicker pays all" of the damages, this is the thinskull plaintiff rule. In the 2nd RST thinskull plaintiff does not apply it seems. You only pay for what a jury determines you were substantially certain to happen.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby manbearwig » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:24 pm

APHill wrote:
TTH wrote:
APHill wrote:I really liked solidsnake's reply. I think Vosburg and Restatement are in conflict, however. I believe if it could be proven that Putney intended neither harm nor offence, there would be no intentional tort. Let us assume that you hug your high school girlfriend right after the class bell rings. Earlier today she had unknown spine disk dislocation, and your hug exacerbates it, paralyzing her. Vosburg application would lead to battery, while 2nd restatement would lead to negligence at best.

Any disagreement?


Disagreed. If the BF and GF hug regularly, I think a court would not consider it offensive contact, even if it violated the decorum of the classroom (like that wording btw).

Vosberg is a goofy rule anyhow.


But Vosburg and Putney appear to have been lightly kicking each other and other students in the shin all the time. I am saying 2nd restatement would not lead to battery for Vosburg and Putney. Why is Vosburg rule goofy?


Here's what I've gathered so far. The Restatement says "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . ." Vosburg says the kick was offensive because it violated the laws of classroom decorum. Even though Putney did not mean to do harm, he still meant to kick Vosburg, which is against the rules, therefore offensive. The Restatement does not say a person needs intent to cause harm, rather intent to cause harm or just contact that in itself is offensive. Even though boys kick each other all the time, reasonable people will still say that it's not acceptable behavior in a classroom. Reasonable people would say hugging your girlfriend is.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby manbearwig » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:28 pm

Doritos wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
traehekat wrote:The Restatement is a little confusing. "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . . " does not actually mean that the act has to be done with the intent to actually cause harm. This is kind of explained in the opinion... "If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be unlawful." The reason the Restatement doesn't just say, "Intending to cause an unlawful act . . . " is because it would be circular reasoning. "An unlawful act is committed when the act is unlawful," is basically what it would be saying.

Basically, if the defendant intended the act itself, and the act is wrongful in the sense that it is a harmful or offensive conduct is SOME manner, he is responsible for ALL the harm that results from it, whether it could or could not be foreseen.

Vosburg establishes, as far as I know, a still valid doctrine.


This brings me back and is, from my understanding, quite correct. You can either intend to cause harm with yoru contact, or you can intend to cause contact that's unlawful, in which case it does not matter if you "intended harm." Vosburg and R2d are not in conflict.


My prof said the RST and Vosburg are different in the fact that for Vosburg all that needs to be shown is that you intended the harmful and/or offensive contact but in the 2nd RST it must be shown that you intended the harmful and offensive contact and intended the consequences or were substantially certain the consequences of the action were going to occur. So applying the 2nd RST to Vosburg, the kicker would not be found liable for the dude's exploded leg because there was no way he could have been substantially certain that a tap on the leg would result in said damage. But under the Vosburg rule the "kicker pays all" of the damages, this is the thinskull plaintiff rule. In the 2nd RST thinskull plaintiff does not apply it seems. You only pay for what a jury determines you were substantially certain to happen.


But there have been other cases since where the intent to cause harm is not significant, just the intent to cause contact, i.e. in Garratt v. Dailey.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Doritos » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:36 pm

manbearwig wrote:
Doritos wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
traehekat wrote:The Restatement is a little confusing. "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . . " does not actually mean that the act has to be done with the intent to actually cause harm. This is kind of explained in the opinion... "If the intended act is unlawful, the intention to commit it must necessarily be unlawful." The reason the Restatement doesn't just say, "Intending to cause an unlawful act . . . " is because it would be circular reasoning. "An unlawful act is committed when the act is unlawful," is basically what it would be saying.

Basically, if the defendant intended the act itself, and the act is wrongful in the sense that it is a harmful or offensive conduct is SOME manner, he is responsible for ALL the harm that results from it, whether it could or could not be foreseen.

Vosburg establishes, as far as I know, a still valid doctrine.


This brings me back and is, from my understanding, quite correct. You can either intend to cause harm with yoru contact, or you can intend to cause contact that's unlawful, in which case it does not matter if you "intended harm." Vosburg and R2d are not in conflict.


My prof said the RST and Vosburg are different in the fact that for Vosburg all that needs to be shown is that you intended the harmful and/or offensive contact but in the 2nd RST it must be shown that you intended the harmful and offensive contact and intended the consequences or were substantially certain the consequences of the action were going to occur. So applying the 2nd RST to Vosburg, the kicker would not be found liable for the dude's exploded leg because there was no way he could have been substantially certain that a tap on the leg would result in said damage. But under the Vosburg rule the "kicker pays all" of the damages, this is the thinskull plaintiff rule. In the 2nd RST thinskull plaintiff does not apply it seems. You only pay for what a jury determines you were substantially certain to happen.


But there have been other cases since where the intent to cause harm is not significant, just the intent to cause contact, i.e. in Garratt v. Dailey.


You may just be right. The difference between Vosburg and RST is the intention for the contact to be offensive or harmful like the White v. Idaho University case. He said he did not mean for the contact to be harmful or offensive which would fly under the RST but the court rejected it saying they have not adopted the RST and decline to do so now. So Vosburg standard, you do not have to mean to be harmful or offensive but in the 2nd RST you have to mean to?

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Duralex » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:05 pm

That's interesting, and good to think about as it didn't seem to me that one would have to explicitly refuse to follow the restatement in order to follow Vosburg. Hrrm.

I'm not sure Garrat v Dailey and Vosburg are about exactly the same thing. In Garrat the defendant is found to be liable because he intended the act and had substantial certainty of the result (even if he did not intend it.) In Vosburg the plaintiff is liable for the harm of aggravating the defendant's injury, even though without the preexisting injury the offense or harm resulting from the kick might not have been serious enough to be a battery, because the act was intended--an unauthorized touching--and the contact and consequent harm resulted (the delivery of the blow and the aggravation of the defendant's wound.) In dicta, the court mentions that the vulnerable plaintiff might not have had cause to complain if the incident had happened on the playground rather than in a classroom--the decorum issue mentioned above. But maybe that's too simplistic, and I need to review in more detail.

Let me add to the muddle: If you look for this under general principles in the remedies/damages section of the first restatement, you find a rule that appears to encompass the thin skulled plaintiff at § 916 "Unintended Consequences Of Intentional Invasions." In Rest 2d, you find the heading from the first restatement, but it is omitted and points instead to 435b, which would seem to encompass this sort of thing, and specifies "intentional invasion"--but is now part of the division dealing with negligence.

Restatement of the Law — Torts

Restatement (First) of Torts

Division 13. Remedies
Chapter 47. Damages
Topic 1. General Statements

§ 916. Unintended Consequences Of Intentional Invasions

Where a person has intentionally invaded the legally protected interests of another, his intention to commit an invasion, the degree of his moral wrongfulness in acting and the seriousness of the harm which he intended are important factors in determining whether he is liable for resulting unintended harm.


Restatement (Second) of Torts

Division 13. Remedies
Chapter 47. Damages
Topic 1. General Statements

§ 916. Unintended Consequences Of Intentional Invasions

[The Section is omitted. The matter is now covered by § 435B.]

Division 2. Negligence
Chapter 16. The Causal Relation Necessary To Responsibility For Negligence
Topic 1. Causal Relation Necessary To The Existence Of Liability For Another's Harm
Title B. Rules Which Determine The Responsibility Of A Negligent Actor For Harm Which His Conduct Is A Substantial Factor In Producing

§ 435B. Unintended Consequences Of Intentional Invasions

Where a person has intentionally invaded the legally protected interests of another, his intention to commit an invasion, the degree of his moral wrong in acting, and the seriousness of the harm which he intended are important factors in determining whether he is liable for resulting unintended harm.


As intentional harm is a higher bar to meet than recklessness or negligence (and it goes on to point out the similarity of this rule to reckless disregard) I'd expect that the plaintiff's liability wouldn't decrease, and the commentary seems to support that:

a. The rule stated in this Section is analogous to that stated in § 501 (2), with reference to the creation of liability, which states that where one acts “in reckless disregard of another's safety,” this “is a matter to be taken into account to determine whether a jury may reasonably find that the actor's conduct bears a sufficient causal relation to another's harm to make the actor liable therefor.” The rule stated in this Section affects only the measure of damages for a tort, but is based upon the principle which underlies both rules, namely, that responsibility for harmful consequences should be carried further in the case of one who does an intentionally wrongful act than in the case of one who is merely negligent or is not at fault. The rule applies not merely to physical harm to the person but also to harm to the feelings, to reputation, and to business. Its principle applies not only to permit a jury to award punitive damages, but also to cause an intentionally wrongful tortfeasor to respond for compensatory damages in cases where, were he merely negligent, he would not be required to pay damages.


.... but I'm not sure what to take from its incorporation into "Division 2. Negligence" and the lack of anything mirroring it in the Division on intentional torts. Maybe I'm reading too much into the organization of the text.

I'm trying not to worry too much about being fuzzy about some of this stuff while the relationships of the rules and the authorities they come from permeates my brain.

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Bustang » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:51 pm

manbearwig wrote:
APHill wrote:
TTH wrote:
APHill wrote:I really liked solidsnake's reply. I think Vosburg and Restatement are in conflict, however. I believe if it could be proven that Putney intended neither harm nor offence, there would be no intentional tort. Let us assume that you hug your high school girlfriend right after the class bell rings. Earlier today she had unknown spine disk dislocation, and your hug exacerbates it, paralyzing her. Vosburg application would lead to battery, while 2nd restatement would lead to negligence at best.

Any disagreement?


Disagreed. If the BF and GF hug regularly, I think a court would not consider it offensive contact, even if it violated the decorum of the classroom (like that wording btw).

Vosberg is a goofy rule anyhow.


But Vosburg and Putney appear to have been lightly kicking each other and other students in the shin all the time. I am saying 2nd restatement would not lead to battery for Vosburg and Putney. Why is Vosburg rule goofy?


Here's what I've gathered so far. The Restatement says "Intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact . . ." Vosburg says the kick was offensive because it violated the laws of classroom decorum. Even though Putney did not mean to do harm, he still meant to kick Vosburg, which is against the rules, therefore offensive. The Restatement does not say a person needs intent to cause harm, rather intent to cause harm or just contact that in itself is offensive. Even though boys kick each other all the time, reasonable people will still say that it's not acceptable behavior in a classroom. Reasonable people would say hugging your girlfriend is.


This is how I interpreted it. Vosburg simply reaffirmed that intent does not mean the desire to injure. Look at Masters V. Becker: She intended to pry P's fingers off of the tailgate so her other friend could play. Because she intended that action, and the court later ruled it as offensive, she was held liable for battery. It doesn't matter if you intend the injury resulting from your offensive contact. So long as you intend the action, and it is deemed offensive or harmful, then you're liable.

Edit: To the OP- can you clarify as to how you're seeing the definition of battery used in vosburg to be completely different than the Restatement's?

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby Doritos » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:29 pm

Doritos wrote:You may just be right. The difference between Vosburg and RST is the intention for the contact to be offensive or harmful like the White v. Idaho University case. He said he did not mean for the contact to be harmful or offensive which would fly under the RST but the court rejected it saying they have not adopted the RST and decline to do so now. So Vosburg standard, you do not have to mean to be harmful or offensive but in the 2nd RST you have to mean to?


Our casebook basically says this straight out. But I'm not sure Vosburg says that battery requires only harm or offense and intent to touch; I think Vosburg says that battery requires intent to harm or, separately, offense with intent to touch. So if, somehow, an intentional touching is harmful without intent to harm and not offensive, the Vosburg rule wouldn't find it to be a battery. The Vosburg court makes clear that they wouldn't have held for the plaintiff if the touching had taken place on the playground, which takes away the offense but does nothing to take away the harm.


I think the playground example takes away the UNLAWFUL aspect of it. In the playground there is implied license so it is not unlawful. The Vosburg rules requires the unlawful contact to be either harmful or offensive. The contact must also be intentional. I should have specified the unlawfulness in my previous post. The actual DAMAGES need not be intended just the unlawful and harmful/offensive contact.

In the RST the Plaintiff must have intended the contact to be offensive/harmful. That is where the Idaho University case comes into play. He says he did not mean it harmfully/offensively which (if the jury believes him) would get him off if using the RST. In Vosburg all that matters is that you intended THE ACT regardless of how you meant it to be interpreted (harmfully/offensively). Am I on the money here?

edit: I guess the guy deleted the post...

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby ChattTNdt » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:23 pm

/thread

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Re: Battery Question - Vosburg v. 2nd Restatement

Postby cyrus561 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:41 pm

My casebook eludes (which is reinforced by my Torts prof) to this:

Stemming from Vosburg and other cases, there's essentially spectrum of INTENT that needs to be taken into consideration for these cases (and will help explain the theory behind rulings).

On one side, there's a BROAD view of Intent and the other is NARROW.

Those on the Broad side view Intent as: to commit an act (and ultimately leads to harm) is essentially liable. This is the Vosburg / Eggshell Skull theory, you're liable because you intended the initial action. It doesn't matter what events followed. This view is very PRO-Plaintiff, as it's easy to prove that it the Defendant intended for the act, AND NOT INTENT FOR HARM.

On the other side is the Narrow view. This is an act where the Intent is to cause harm. The defendant is held liable when the harm was substantially certain to happen. (as opposed to Intending to touch the leg, he would have been guilty if he had intended to cause harm). This side is very PRO-Defendant. This side is also the stance taken by the Restatement.

I'm not sure if your casebook has White v University of Idaho, 797 P2.d 108 (Idaho 1990). Essentially the court found the defendant, a piano teacher at Unv. Idaho, guilty of battery when he "walked up behind her and touched her back with both his hand in a movement later described as on a pianist would make in striking ... a keyboard." The reasoning is that despite having not meant to cause any harm, the action was still the cause of her injuries (that were severe enough to warrant medical attention). The Idaho court states, "we have not previously adopted the Restatement (Second) in Idaho and decline any invitation to do it now." This is a BROAD view of intent.


Garratt and Vosburg are similar because the court needed to take into consideration of Intent and decide which side of the spectrum they fell under.




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