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Monday, July 8, 2013

Essay on Intentional Tort

Essay on Intentional Tort

            Intentional torts refers to the civil wrong or injury caused to another individual due to a willful misconduct or intentional wrongdoing of the tortfeasor.  It is called intentional tort because the individual responsible for causing the injury to another knew that his action will lead to a particular result.  In intentional tort, it is not necessary that the tortfeasor desired to cause harm or injury to another.  It is sufficient he engaged in actions that are likely to bring about the result which is the injury to another.  It is therefore not a defense on the part of the tortfeasor that it was not his intention to cause the injury.  It is sufficient that he willingly engaged in actions that are likely to bring about the injury. 

            In intentional tort, the intent to cause an injury will be presumed from the actions of the tortfeasor.  If the action of the tortfeasor is likely to cause an injury to another then the intent to cause injury will be presumed as a matter of law.  For example, an individual who shouts “Fire” while inside a crowded cinema will be considered to be responsible for the resulting injuries because the injury was likely to happen from his action

            Intentional tort should be distinguished from negligence.  If the duty of care to another is breached there is negligence. Intent is not necessary in negligence tort.  In negligence tort therefore, it is sufficient to establish that the tortfeasor failed to take the appropriate care to protect others from injury. However, if the action of the tortfeasor is such that an injury is likely to happen then there is intentional tort.

            Intentional tort does not require criminal intent. A tort is different from a crime.  Thus, the injured party does not need to establish that the tortfeasor had the criminal intent to harm him.  The law only requires intent not ill will or malice (Cathy Okrent, 2010, p.111). The law presumes the presence of malice from the nature of the conduct committed by the tortfeasor.  


Okrent, C. (2010). Torts and Personal Injury Law. New York: Cengage Learning.

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