Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waters v. Blackshear case brief

Waters v. Blackshear
-D placed firecracker in sneaker of minor P and lit it.
-P was 7 years old, sustained burn injuries.
-D also a minor, a bit older than D, had been playing with firecrakers for about 10 minutes before incident, tossing them.
-P and mother seek recovery in theory that minor D was negligent.

Were the actions of D negligent or intentional?

The D's conduct was intentional.

-Intentional conduct cannot be negligent conduct and that negligent conduct cannot be intentional conduct.
-"An actor is subject to liability to another for battery if [a] he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact, and [b] a harmful contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results"
-"to constitute a battery, the actor must have intended to bring about a harmful or offensive contact or to put the other party in apprehension thereof. A result is intended if the act is done for the purpose of accomplishing the result or with knowledge that to a substantial certainty such a result will ensue"

-The court stated that the intentional placing of the firecracker in Maurice's sneaker and the intentional lighting of the firecracker brought about a harmful contact that the defendant intended.
-The defendant may not have intended to cause the injuries that Maurice sustained. The defendant may not have understood the seriousness of his conduct and all the harm that might result from it. These facts are not significant, however, in determining whether the defendant committed a battery.
-That fact that the D is a minor did not have any effect on the court's view.  However, the court did hint that if the minor did not understand the contact would be harmful, then the outcome may have been different.

-The appeals court affirms the trial court's holding.  This is a battery, an intentional tort. 

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