is this a battery?

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kblueboi
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is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:06 pm

If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:09 pm

sorry i should clarify ... when i say direct a blind man into traffic ... i mean verbally giving instructions ... not touching him at all

bravos89
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby bravos89 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:16 pm

Direct physical contact is not necessary for battery. See Garratt v. Dailey.

I believe both those cases would be construed as battery.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:19 pm

kblueboi wrote:If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?


That's a tough one. It seems arguable that it is a battery. You acted, intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact, and the contact actually resulted. In that way, it seems kind of analogous to leaving a booby trap.
Last edited by ph14 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby I.P. Daly » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:24 pm

You may have an argument that all of the elements of battery are met.

The harmful/offensive touching can be indirect, so it's sorta analogous to setting a "booby" trap. I remember reading a case where setting a trap in the woods constituted battery.

By intentionally directing the blind guy into traffic, you're causing the harmful contact. You're basically directing him into the trap...

In this situation, it'd probably be hard to prove intent unless the wrongdoer actually admitted that he intended the harmful or offensive contact.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby DocHawkeye » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:25 pm

Section 13 of the Section Restatement of Torts states that an actor is liable for battery if he "acts intending harmful or offensive contact with the peson of the other" and "a harmful contact...results." Talmage v. Smith holds that direct contact between batterer and battery is not required for a battery to occur. It seems that this scenario would consitute a battery.

bravos89
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby bravos89 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:29 pm

ph14 wrote:
kblueboi wrote:If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?


That's a tough one. On one hand, it's arguable that it is a battery. You acted, intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact, and the contact actually resulted. In that way, it seems kind of analogous to leaving a booby trap. On the other hand, I think the courts have held that mere words cannot constitute a battery. Trying to look up and see if I am remembering correctly or not.


I think the "mere words" distinction is relating to a case on assault where the court held that "mere words" could not constitute an assault if there was not other reason to be reasonably apprehensive that an assault would occur. In the battery case, I don't see the distinction since you're performing an action that you know will result in harmful/offensive contact and your intent was to cause that harm.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:31 pm

bravos89 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
kblueboi wrote:If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?


That's a tough one. On one hand, it's arguable that it is a battery. You acted, intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact, and the contact actually resulted. In that way, it seems kind of analogous to leaving a booby trap. On the other hand, I think the courts have held that mere words cannot constitute a battery. Trying to look up and see if I am remembering correctly or not.


I think the "mere words" distinction is relating to a case on assault where the court held that "mere words" could not constitute an assault if there was not other reason to be reasonably apprehensive that an assault would occur. In the battery case, I don't see the distinction since you're performing an action that you know will result in harmful/offensive contact and your intent was to cause that harm.


Right. I looked it up in my notes, realized my mistake and edited it out of my post.

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:32 pm

bravos89 wrote:Direct physical contact is not necessary for battery. See Garratt v. Dailey.

I believe both those cases would be construed as battery.


yea that makes sense ...

but i can't reconcile that with Glannon's hypo in E&E where a teenager standing on a highway overpass with a mirror reflects the sunlight into the eyes of a driver below which causes her to crash. he says that the teenager could not be liable for battery because the sunlight does not constitute contact ...

it seems like there needs to be some kind of initiated contact to satisfy a battery although that wouldn't be necessary in the garrat case ...

man i dunno

target
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby target » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:34 pm

kblueboi wrote:sorry i should clarify ... when i say direct a blind man into traffic ... i mean verbally giving instructions ... not touching him at all


b/c of this, I'd say no battery. Now, if you gently hold his hand, and walk him into the traffic, that's battery. This sounds more like a criminal case than a tort case though.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:39 pm

kblueboi wrote:
bravos89 wrote:Direct physical contact is not necessary for battery. See Garratt v. Dailey.

I believe both those cases would be construed as battery.


yea that makes sense ...

but i can't reconcile that with Glannon's hypo in E&E where a teenager standing on a highway overpass with a mirror reflects the sunlight into the eyes of a driver below which causes her to crash. he says that the teenager could not be liable for battery because the sunlight does not constitute contact ...

it seems like there needs to be some kind of initiated contact to satisfy a battery although that wouldn't be necessary in the garrat case ...

man i dunno


I think that was an issue of intent. I think we are assuming that the person isn't shining the light into the person's eyes for the purpose of causing a car crash. The person shining the light into the driver's eyes also did not know with a substantial certainty that a harmful contact would occur. The odds of shining the light into the persons eyes and that thereby causing the person to lose control of their car falls below the "substantial certainty" threshold, which is a pretty high standard. I'd guess that the shining light into people's eyes falls more into the "reckless" area.

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:40 pm

target wrote:
kblueboi wrote:sorry i should clarify ... when i say direct a blind man into traffic ... i mean verbally giving instructions ... not touching him at all


b/c of this, I'd say no battery. Now, if you gently hold his hand, and walk him into the traffic, that's battery. This sounds more like a criminal case than a tort case though.



he'd definitely go to jail and if he's some lowlife crackhead then it's probably not worth suing, but if it were bill gates whispering in the poor guy's ear then he could sue for some major money.

even though oj got off, i believe the families of nicole and the other guy successfully sued oj for damages

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:43 pm

ph14 wrote:
kblueboi wrote:
bravos89 wrote:Direct physical contact is not necessary for battery. See Garratt v. Dailey.

I believe both those cases would be construed as battery.


yea that makes sense ...

but i can't reconcile that with Glannon's hypo in E&E where a teenager standing on a highway overpass with a mirror reflects the sunlight into the eyes of a driver below which causes her to crash. he says that the teenager could not be liable for battery because the sunlight does not constitute contact ...

it seems like there needs to be some kind of initiated contact to satisfy a battery although that wouldn't be necessary in the garrat case ...

man i dunno


I think that was an issue of intent. I think we are assuming that the person isn't shining the light into the person's eyes for the purpose of causing a car crash. The person shining the light into the driver's eyes also did not know with a substantial certainty that a harmful contact would occur. The odds of shining the light into the persons eyes and that thereby causing the person to lose control of their car falls below the "substantial certainty" threshold, which is a pretty high standard. I'd guess that the shining light into people's eyes falls more into the "reckless" area.


true ... glannon does say that it'd be hard to establish the intent element, but he also says that it wouldn't have satisfied the contact requirement either ...

so if intent could somehow be established, then glannon is saying he still wouldn't be liable because he cannot establish the contact requirement right?

shoeshine
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby shoeshine » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:46 pm

I am going to say yes it is a battery.

Basically, battery can be any intentional act (physical or not) that brings about harmful contact (usually this one has to be physical) to another person.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:51 pm

kblueboi wrote:
ph14 wrote:
kblueboi wrote:
bravos89 wrote:Direct physical contact is not necessary for battery. See Garratt v. Dailey.

I believe both those cases would be construed as battery.


yea that makes sense ...

but i can't reconcile that with Glannon's hypo in E&E where a teenager standing on a highway overpass with a mirror reflects the sunlight into the eyes of a driver below which causes her to crash. he says that the teenager could not be liable for battery because the sunlight does not constitute contact ...

it seems like there needs to be some kind of initiated contact to satisfy a battery although that wouldn't be necessary in the garrat case ...

man i dunno


I think that was an issue of intent. I think we are assuming that the person isn't shining the light into the person's eyes for the purpose of causing a car crash. The person shining the light into the driver's eyes also did not know with a substantial certainty that a harmful contact would occur. The odds of shining the light into the persons eyes and that thereby causing the person to lose control of their car falls below the "substantial certainty" threshold, which is a pretty high standard. I'd guess that the shining light into people's eyes falls more into the "reckless" area.


true ... glannon does say that it'd be hard to establish the intent element, but he also says that it wouldn't have satisfied the contact requirement either ...

so if intent could somehow be established, then glannon is saying he still wouldn't be liable because he cannot establish the contact requirement right?


Nope. "On first glance, this seems to be a battery because the plaintiff crashed into the bridge abutment. That's a contact if there ever was one. However, Regan did not have the necessary intent to cause that contact."

If intent was established, Glannon is saying that the defendant would definitely be liable. What Glannon is talking about with the light rays is another argument you could try and make: that the shining of the light itself in the defendant's eyes was a battery (that way plaintiff could collect damages under the "eggshell plaintiff" rule). However, this satisfies the intent element, but not the contact element, because light rays do not constitute a physical contact.

bravos89
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby bravos89 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:56 pm

I think the distinction with the Glannon Hypo is what your intent is. His explanation of the hypo is just plain wrong though in my opinion.

Gannon's analysis is off since his point about contact seems to address whether light is sufficient for contact where in the hypo, the actual harmful/offensive contact is the crashing into the bridge. If the teenager intended to cause that contact, she is liable for battery since she acted with intent to bring about that harmful contact. It doesn't matter in what manner she acted to bring about that contact. Since the teenager didn't intend to cause the crash, she is not liable.

His analysis about whether the light is sufficient for contact would only be applicable in a question of whether simply shining the light into the driver's eye itself is battery even if there is no other harmful contact. In that case, the intent would be to shine the light (which would be construed as offensive contact) and the question would be whether if light can constitute contact.

Hops this helps.

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:00 am

i just re-read it ... you're right ...thanks for clarifying ...

i guess that means you can go around shining a flashlight in somebody's face without it being a battery ... or if sound isn't contact, then u could follow someone around and blast an airhorn ... right? i guess these acts could be assaults? although if you snuck up to somebody from behind and blasted it then it wouldn't be because the 'imminent apprehension requirement' would not be satisfied

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Re: is this a battery?

Postby shoeshine » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:10 am

bravos89 wrote:I think the distinction with the Glannon Hypo is what your intent is. His explanation of the hypo is just plain wrong though in my opinion.

Gannon's analysis is off since his point about contact seems to address whether light is sufficient for contact where in the hypo, the actual harmful/offensive contact is the crashing into the bridge. If the teenager intended to cause that contact, she is liable for battery since she acted with intent to bring about that harmful contact. It doesn't matter in what manner she acted to bring about that contact. Since the teenager didn't intend to cause the crash, she is not liable.

His analysis about whether the light is sufficient for contact would only be applicable in a question of whether simply shining the light into the driver's eye itself is battery even if there is no other harmful contact. In that case, the intent would be to shine the light (which would be construed as offensive contact) and the question would be whether if light can constitute contact.

Hops this helps.


+1, but I think the teenager would be liable if he/she knew with a substantial certainty that any harm would occur. Even if the teen didn't want the car to crash he/she probably reasonably expected that some harm or an apprehension of harm would have occurred. For example if the teenager testifies that he/she thought the driver would just get startled, disoriented and possibly slam on their brakes and skid but not crash then that satisfies the necessary intent element. The slamming on the brakes and skidding is an action taken by a driver with apprehension of harmful contact (i.e. crashing). The fact that the actions that sought to bring about this apprehension of harm actually cause harmful contact makes this a battery.

The teenager would have to prove that his actions were not meant to cause even the slightest amount of harm or fear of harm in the plaintiff. I don't really see that happening.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:17 am

shoeshine wrote:
bravos89 wrote:I think the distinction with the Glannon Hypo is what your intent is. His explanation of the hypo is just plain wrong though in my opinion.

Gannon's analysis is off since his point about contact seems to address whether light is sufficient for contact where in the hypo, the actual harmful/offensive contact is the crashing into the bridge. If the teenager intended to cause that contact, she is liable for battery since she acted with intent to bring about that harmful contact. It doesn't matter in what manner she acted to bring about that contact. Since the teenager didn't intend to cause the crash, she is not liable.

His analysis about whether the light is sufficient for contact would only be applicable in a question of whether simply shining the light into the driver's eye itself is battery even if there is no other harmful contact. In that case, the intent would be to shine the light (which would be construed as offensive contact) and the question would be whether if light can constitute contact.

Hops this helps.


+1, but I think the teenager would be liable if he/she knew with a substantial certainty that any harm would occur. Even if the teen didn't want the car to crash he/she probably reasonably expected that some harm or an apprehension of harm would have occurred. For example if the teenager testifies that he/she thought the driver would just get startled, disoriented and possibly slam on their brakes and skid but not crash then that satisfies the necessary intent element. The slamming on the brakes and skidding is an action taken by a driver with apprehension of harmful contact (i.e. crashing). The fact that the actions that sought to bring about this apprehension of harm actually cause harmful contact makes this a battery.

The teenager would have to prove that his actions were not meant to cause even the slightest amount of harm or fear of harm in the plaintiff. I don't really see that happening.


"Reasonably expect" the harm to occur is not enough to satisfy the intent element for battery. "Substantial certainty" is a higher standard.

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Re: is this a battery?

Postby introversional » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:22 am

kblueboi wrote:If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?


I approach these with a bit of legal realism.... as in, how do you think a judge is going to rule in this case? Do you think he's going to take the most conservative interpretation of the (not law) restatements? Do you think he's going to stretch whatever tenuous morsel of common law he can find after he consults with some of his judge friends to make an example out this guy who's leading the blind into traffic? Answer = yes.

I'm guessing the term "transferred" would be used often by the judge who invariably lays the smackdown on the guy in this hypo.

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ph14
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby ph14 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:24 am

introversional wrote:
kblueboi wrote:If you direct a blind man into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm him and he subsequently gets hit by a car, that's not a battery because you didn't initiate the contact right?

or is it similar to setting up a booby trap? for instance, tying a string between two posts and intending to trip somebody.

i know the second situation is a battery, but is the first?


I approach these with a bit of legal realism.... as in, how do you think a judge is going to rule in this case? Do you think he's going to take the most conservative interpretation of the (not law) restatements? Do you think he's going to stretch whatever tenuous morsel of common law he can find after he consults with some of his judge friends to make an example out this guy who's leading the blind into traffic? Answer = yes.

I'm guessing the term "transferred" would be used often by the judge who invariably lays the smackdown on the guy in this hypo.


Why? I don't see any transferred intent.

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introversional
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby introversional » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:30 am

What if you intentionally rolled a bowling ball into traffic, a driver swerved to avoid it, hits a guy standing at the bus stop, and he dies.

Ok, say you intentionally "rolled" a blind guy into traffic with your directions... and the driver swerves, hits a tree, and dies.

There's a lot that can be done with the term "transfer" here, not just transferred intent. I'm sure a judge would get pretty creative with it in a case like this.

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:30 am

sorry ... at the risk of beating this topic to death ... i just wanna clarify ...

in the blind man hypo, the act is speaking. harmful contact results when the truck hits him. so speaking causes the contact ...

that means ... if you brainwash somebody to kill and you activate the brainwashing with the use of a code word and the brainswashed dude karate kicks your law school dean cause you said 'peas and carrots', then you're guilty of a battery also right?

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Re: is this a battery?

Postby delusional » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:31 am

ph14 wrote:
shoeshine wrote:
bravos89 wrote:I think the distinction with the Glannon Hypo is what your intent is. His explanation of the hypo is just plain wrong though in my opinion.

Gannon's analysis is off since his point about contact seems to address whether light is sufficient for contact where in the hypo, the actual harmful/offensive contact is the crashing into the bridge. If the teenager intended to cause that contact, she is liable for battery since she acted with intent to bring about that harmful contact. It doesn't matter in what manner she acted to bring about that contact. Since the teenager didn't intend to cause the crash, she is not liable.

His analysis about whether the light is sufficient for contact would only be applicable in a question of whether simply shining the light into the driver's eye itself is battery even if there is no other harmful contact. In that case, the intent would be to shine the light (which would be construed as offensive contact) and the question would be whether if light can constitute contact.

Hops this helps.


+1, but I think the teenager would be liable if he/she knew with a substantial certainty that any harm would occur. Even if the teen didn't want the car to crash he/she probably reasonably expected that some harm or an apprehension of harm would have occurred. For example if the teenager testifies that he/she thought the driver would just get startled, disoriented and possibly slam on their brakes and skid but not crash then that satisfies the necessary intent element. The slamming on the brakes and skidding is an action taken by a driver with apprehension of harmful contact (i.e. crashing). The fact that the actions that sought to bring about this apprehension of harm actually cause harmful contact makes this a battery.

The teenager would have to prove that his actions were not meant to cause even the slightest amount of harm or fear of harm in the plaintiff. I don't really see that happening.


"Reasonably expect" the harm to occur is not enough to satisfy the intent element for battery. "Substantial certainty" is a higher standard.

Dunno if this is true, but I would say that substantial certainty is battery; reasonable expectation is negligence. If the rays *would* have been contact, then the crash would have been a consequence of the battery.
The blind man could be battery, but he's not deaf - maybe there's only negligence there too.

kblueboi
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Re: is this a battery?

Postby kblueboi » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:34 am

introversional wrote:What if you intentionally rolled a bowling ball into traffic, a driver swerved to avoid it, hits a guy standing at the bus stop, and he dies.

Ok, say you intentionally "rolled" a blind guy into traffic with your directions... and the driver swerves, hits a tree, and dies.

There's a lot that can be done with the term "transfer" here, not just transferred intent. I'm sure a judge would get pretty creative with it in a case like this.


well that's what i've been confused about this entire time. in the first hypo you caused the act by physically rolling the ball ...

in the second scenario, you cauesd the act by speaking ... physical contact resulted, but your initial act was not a physical one ...




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