Restatement Third of Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons Is Approved

Restatement Third of Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons Is Approved

PHILADELPHIA - Members of The American Law Institute voted today to approve Tentative Draft No. 6 of Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons. Today’s vote marks the completion of this project. The project is led by Reporter Kenneth W. Simons of the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) and Associate Reporter W. Jonathan Cardi of Wake Forest University School of Law. Ellen S. Pryor of UNT Dallas College of Law served as Associate Reporter from 2014 to 2015.

This project is part of ALI’s ongoing revision of the Restatement Second of Torts. Intentional Torts to Persons is the fifth installment of the Restatement Third of Torts to be completed, following Liability for Economic Harm, Products Liability, Apportionment, and Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm. Remaining areas of tort law currently being drafted are Concluding Provisions, Defamation and Privacy, Remedies, and Property.

“This Restatement deals with a sub-category of intentional torts,” explained Reporter Kenneth Simons. “It focuses on the traditional torts of battery, assault, false imprisonment, and also a newly named tort called ‘purposeful infliction of bodily harm.’ The project also covers transferred intent and different types of consent that preclude liability. We spent quite a bit of time trying to identify the most helpful categories for courts to use when analyzing when consent does or does not exist. We also developed detailed and updated criteria for different defenses, including self-defense, defense of property, and citizen’s arrest.”

The Reporters worked closely with a diverse group of Advisers and Members Consultative Group and produced more than 20 drafts from the inception of the project in 2012.

“We paid close attention to the Second Restatement, many provisions of which were identical to the First Restatement. But the reality is that there have been significant developments in the law and the fabric of society since 1934,” added Associate Reporter Jonathan Cardi. “For example, the definition of confinement is broader in our draft, making room for confinements by the mere assertion of legal authority. Also, with a more pervasive modern police force, privileges such as the defense of property and citizen’s arrest (along with their sparse and dated case support) were beginning to look a bit long in the tooth.”

Portions of this project have been before the membership at five prior Annual Meetings. Including the Sections approved in this draft, the completed project’s overall table of contents consists of three chapters. The first chapter includes Sections on battery, assault, purposeful infliction of bodily harm, intentional (or reckless) infliction of emotional harm, false imprisonment, participation in an intentional tort, and transferred intent. A second chapter addresses consent and includes Sections on actual consent, apparent and presumed consent, emergency doctrine, consent to sexual conduct, and medical treatment without legally effective consent as battery. The final chapter deals with privileges and includes the topics of self-defense and defense of third persons; defense of the actor’s interest in possession of land and personal property; arrest and prevention or termination of crime; and privileges to discipline or control children. Additional provisions address when to compare the responsibility of negligent, reckless, and intentional plaintiffs and defendants; and fraud causing physical harm to person or property.

“For this extremely significant accomplishment, I am immensely grateful to Ken and Jonathan, as well as Ellen, for their leadership of this project,” said ALI Director Richard L. Revesz. “The Reporters worked tirelessly along with the dedicated Advisers and Members Consultative Group to get us one step closer to completing our third revision of the Torts Restatement. Since the first Restatement Volume on this area of law was published in 1934, Torts has been one of the Institute’s most influential projects, to date being cited by U.S. courts more than 88,000 times.”

With the approval of the draft, the Reporters will now prepare the Institute’s official text for publication. Until the official text is published, this and previous Tentative Drafts approved by ALI’s membership are the official position of ALI, and may be cited as such.

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