Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Andrews v. Peters case brief

Andrews v. Peters
330 S.E.2d 638
Tort Law

PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
-(D) sought review of a judgment of the Superior Court.
-The court granted the (P's) motion for a new trial.
-A jury verdict was awarded in her favor for limited damages.
-The verdict denied (D's) combined motions to vacate its new trial order, and failed to fully set forth the reasons for such order.

FACTS:
-(P) was injured when (D) came up behind her and tapped the back of her right knee with the front of his right knee, causing her knee to buckle.
-She fell and dislocated her kneecap, and sued (D) for intentional assault and battery.
-A jury returned a verdict for (P)  and awarded damages; however (P) filed a motion for a new trial alleging an inadequate verdict.

RULES
-The intent with which tort liability is concerned is not necessarily a hostile intent, or a desire to do any harm. Rather it is an intent to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another in a way that the law forbids.
-The (D) may be liable although intending nothing more than a good-natured practical joke, or honestly believing that the act would not injure the plaintiff, or even though seeking the plaintiff's own good.
-A (D's) liability extends, as in most other cases of intentional torts, to consequences which the (D) did not intend, and could not reasonably have foreseen, upon the obvious basis that it is better for unexpected losses to fall upon the intentional wrongdoer than upon the innocent victim.

CONCLUSION: The court vacated the orders of the trial court, which granted (P) a new trial in her personal injury action against (D), and denied (D's) motions to vacate its new trial order and set forth the amount it deemed necessary to preclude a second trial. The court remanded the case to the trial court for additional findings of fact on its decision granting (P's) new trial motion.

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