charlesjd wrote:With regards to cigarette smoke:
A intentionally blows cigarette smoke in B's face (they are 1-2 feet away from each other).
Cali says that is a battery, but that is about it. Just about any other situation with cigarette smoking is not a battery unless it is so obvious that the defendant intentionally acted with unlawful intentions or was sub. certain that h or o contact would occur. Maybe A was smoking in a small room and knew that B had "really bad" asthma and B had an asthma attack, nearly dyeing. I believe that was satisfy the intent to commit a battery, especially if A knew about his condition. However if his asthma was not very severe, or B is merely allergic to cigarette smoke, prob not.
There's a case in my torts book after intent discussion where ∆ new π was allergic to smoke (not super allergic) and was sued for battery.
A lot of people in my torts section seemed pretty confused about this concept too. My understanding of battery was that as soon as the touching occurred, then the tort had been fulfilled on the condition of damages. The way my professor framed it, as soon as the contact had been made, the tort has been completed. The one exception we reached was from the Wallace v. Rosen case. It was uncontested that touching occurred and damage resulted (π broke foot after falling down stairwell) but no battery was found because "certain contact is to be expected in a crowded world." It seemed that this exception was meant to be pretty narrow though. The touching happened during a fire alarm when π was in a staircase and blocking the exit route. Since that touch was "customary and reasonable" because certain things, like tap on shoulder to get attention during a fire alarm, are part of daily life.
Think about the case where a UVA law professor was sued because he touched a student while asking the hypo "Did I just commit battery?" The student alleged that it was a caress and revived memories of her being gang raped when she was 11 in some South American country. He touched her, thus completing the tort. It helps me to think of battery compared to negligence. You can't be intentionally negligent, only recklessly so because negligence implies the result was accidental. On the other hand, you can't unintentionally touch someone and commit battery. Transferred intent covers if A tries to hit B but hits C.
Cliff notes: Intent goes only to what ∆ contact, not damages, could reasonably believe from his/her actions. If I reach out towards you, I have the intent to touch you and I have the reasonable belief that my manifestation of intent will result in physical contact. It shouldn't be confused with the reasonable belief of what damages are substantially certain to occur (see MS9 v. battaglia for a case where the court fudged up).
Does what I wrote make sense? Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or ask me to clarify.