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II. Common Torts
Exercise 1 of 6
Steve is walking down a crowded street and accidentally bumps into Joe. Steve mumbles an apology and starts to walk by, but Joe yells at him, "Get back here so I can punch you for shoving me." Joe never touches Steve, however. Can Steve recover damages from Joe for assault?
A. No, because Steve wasn’t actually hit.
B. No, because Steve bumped into Joe first.
C. Yes, because Joe threatened Steve with an immediate assault.
Exercise 2 of 6
Steve is walking down the street and bumps into Joe accidentally. Joe gives Steve a shove without saying a word. Steve is surprised but not injured. Can Steve recover damages from Joe for battery?
A. Yes, because Joe touched him in an offensive way, deliberately and without his consent.
B. No, because he wasn’t hurt.
C. No, because Steve ran into Joe first.
Exercise 3 of 6
A painter is carrying her painting to a gallery for appraisal. A driver jumps the curb in his car. The side view mirror rips the painting out of the artist’s hand and into mud, destroying it. Can the artist recover from the driver?
A. No, because there is no way of knowing what the painting was worth before it was destroyed.
B. No, because the driver couldn’t have known that the painting had any value.
C. Yes, because the driver’s carelessness caused the painter to lose the value of her painting.
Exercise 4 of 6
Shelly is turning a corner in her car and is unexpectedly blinded by the sun. She keeps turning anyway and runs into Harry’s car, denting the front fender and headlight. Can Harry recover damages from Shelly?
A. No, because Shelly couldn’t help being blinded.
B. Yes, because Shelly should have stopped driving when she knew she couldn’t see what was ahead of her.
Exercise 5 of 6
Hannah is driving down the street when a truck driving next to her starts moving into her lane. Hannah has no choice but to cross the centerline to avoid being hit by the truck. Her car sideswipes an oncoming car driven by Martha, causing damage to the doors of both cars; the truck drives on without stopping and can’t be found. Can Martha recover damages from Hannah?
A. No, because Hannah did nothing either negligently or intentionally harmful to Martha’s property.
B. Yes, because the truck drove off and Martha, who is totally innocent, can’t be left without someone to pay her damages.
C. Yes, because Hannah should have let the truck hit her rather than enter another lane of traffic.
Exercise 6 of 6
Fred is upset over being jilted by Sarah and starts calling her at all hours even after she repeatedly asks him to stop. Fred says nothing threatening to her but just keeps saying he wants her to come back to him. Sarah’s distress increases to the point that she cannot concentrate at work and is sleeping badly and she tells Fred so, and finally takes him to court. Can the court award damages to Sarah?
A. No, because Fred did not threaten Sarah with harm.
B. Yes, because Fred knew he was causing Sarah emotional distress but continued doing it.
C. No, because Sarah should just get an unlisted phone number.
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