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Chapter 7 Introduction to Tort Law

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Know why most legal systems have tort law.
  2. Identify the three kinds of torts.
  3. Show how tort law relates to criminal law and contract law.
  4. Understand negligent torts and defenses to claims of negligence.
  5. Understand strict liability torts and the reasons for them in the US legal system.

In civil litigation, contract and tort claims are by far the most numerous. The law attempts to adjust for harms done by awarding damages to a successful plaintiff who demonstrates that the defendant was the cause of the plaintiff’s losses. Torts can be intentional torts, negligent torts, or strict liability torts. Employers must be aware that in many circumstances, their employees may create liability in tort. This chapter explains the different kind of torts, as well as available defenses to tort claims.