Industrial & Labour law : What is Tort? – Types of Tort

Industrial & Labour law : What is Tort? - Types of Tort

Industrial & Labour law – Torts or Wrongs to Personal Safety & Freedom

What is a Tort?

tort, in a common language, refers to a civil wrong that causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits such act.

Tort law refers to the set of laws that provides remedies to individuals who have suffered harm by the unreasonable acts of another.

Tort law is based on the idea that people are liable for the consequences of their actions, whether intentional or accidental if they cause harm to another person or entity.

Types of Tort


(a) Battery

The battery is the criminal act of intentionally touching, or applying force to the body of another person in an offensive manner, covering a wide range of acts, including those of a sexual nature. To constitute a tort of battery, therefore, two things are necessary: (i) use of force, however, trivial it may be without the plaintiff’s consent, and (ii) without any lawful justification. Even though the force used is very trivial and does not cause any harm, the wrong is committed. Thus, even to touch a person in anger or without any lawful justification is the battery.

(b) Assault

An assault refers to an attempt or threat of violence – not actual violence itself. Assault is an act of the defendant which directly causes the plaintiff immediately to apprehend a contact with his person. Thus, when the defendant by his act creates an apprehension in the mind of the plaintiff that he is going to commit battery against him, the tort of assault is committed. The law of assault is substantially the same as that of battery except for that apprehension of contact, not the contact itself has to be established. Usually, when there is a battery, there will also be assault, but not for instance, when a person is hit from behind. To point a loaded gun at the plaintiff, or to shake fist under his nose, or to curse him in a threatening manner, or to aim a blow at him which is intercepted, or to surround him with a display of force is to assault him clearly if the defendant by his act intends to commit a battery and the plaintiff apprehends it, is an assault.

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(c) Bodily Harm

A willful act (or statement) of the defendant, calculated to cause physical harm to the plaintiff and in fact causing physical harm to him, is a tort.

(d) False Imprisonment

False imprisonment involves detaining a person without that person’s consent. It can take the extreme form of kidnapping or the less extreme form of detaining. For example – a shopper for suspected shoplifting without reasonable grounds.

A defense to false imprisonment would be consent of the detainee, or if a store owner had reasonable grounds to believe that the detainee was guilty of shoplifting (shopkeeper’s privilege).

Watch recorded lectures by experienced faculties on the Torts and its types by clicking Industrial and Labor Law notes.

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(e) Malicious Prosecution

Malicious prosecution is a legal term that refers to the filing of a civil or criminal case that has no probable cause and is filed for some purpose other than obtaining justice. When such a case is decided in favor of the defendant, he may turn around and file a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff or prosecutor for malicious prosecution, seeking damages.

In an action of malicious prosecution the plaintiff must prove:

  1. That he was prosecuted by the defendant.
  2. That the proceeding complained was terminated in favor of the present plaintiff.
  3. That the prosecution was instituted against without any just or reasonable cause.
  4. That the prosecution was instituted with a malicious intention, that is, not with the mere intention of getting the law into effect, but with an intention, which was wrongful in fact.
  5. That he suffered damage to his reputation or to the safety of a person, or to the security of his property.

(f) Nervous Shock

A nervous shock is a psychiatric illness or injury inflicted upon a person by intentional or negligent actions or omissions of another. Often it is a psychiatric disorder triggered by witnessing an accident, for example, an injury caused to one’s parents or spouse. Causing the nervous shock itself is not enough to make it an actionable tort, some injury or illness must take place as a result of the emotional disturbance, fear or sorrow.

(g) Defamation

Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual. The law of defamation protects a person’s reputation and good name against communications that are false and derogatory. Defamation consists of two torts: libel and slander.

  • Libel consists of any defamation that can be seen, most typically in writing.
  • Slander is a form of defamation that consists of making false oral statements about a person which would damage that person’s reputation. If I spread a rumor that my neighbor has been in jail and this is not true, I could be held liable for slander.


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