General Principles of Tortious Liability By Jayashree Roy
Liability based on Fault & Strict Liability A liability based on fault implies that the defendant is liable because of harms caused with an intention or negligence on his part. A strict liability makes the defendant liable for accidental harms caused without any intention and negligence on his part. Sometimes the law recognise is no fault liability.
General Conditions of Liability for a Tort:- . In general, it consists in some acts done by the defendant whereby he has without just cause or excuse causes some form of harm to the plaintiff. . This branch of law is based on alterum non leadere- to hurt nobody by word or deed).
In order to constitute a tort, the following conditions are to be satisfied:- 1. There must be a wrongful act or omission on the part of the defendant. damage (injuria) to the plaintiff. damages must be available. 2. Such act or omission should result in legal 3. Some legal remedy in the form of an action for
1. Act or Omission:- In order to make a person liable for a tort he must have done some legal wrong i.e. violates the legal rights of another person. The wrongful act also includes omission to perform a legal duty. The wrongful act, if merely a moral or social wrong, it will not amount to a tort.
2. Legal Damage: The test to determine the liability under the law of torts is to see whether any legal right of the plaintiff has been violated or not. . If a legal right is violated, then it does not matter that the plaintiff has suffered any loss or not. Injuria means infringement of a legal right. damage. . Damnum means substantial harm, loss or Sine means without.
Iniuria sine damnum:- This maxim means violation of a legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage to the plaintiff. It is always actionable as legal wrong entail a remedy. Every injury imports damage. Torts are of two kinds- namely, those, which are actionable per se, and those, which are actionable only on proof of actual damage resulting from them. Case 1. Ashby vs. White 2. Bhim Singh vs. State ofJ & K
Damnum sine injuria:- This means that the plaintiff may suffer actual or substantial loss without any violation or infringement of legal right and therefore no action lies in such cases. It is never actionable, as moral or social wrongs have no remedy. Similarly, hurt to religious feelings is not an actionable tort. Case: 1. Gloucester Grammar School 2. Mogul Steamship Co. Vs. McGregor Gow & Co.
3. Legal Remedy or Damages: .Final ingredient for a tort is that there must be a civil action available for damages, which is the main remedy. The maxim Ubi jus ibi remedium means that where there is a right there is a remedy.
Mental Element in Tortious Liability:- Unlike criminal law, in a tort the state of mind of a person is not so important, and in fact is irrelevant, except in certain cases (because unlike criminal law, the focus in the law of torts is not on furnishing the wrongdoer, but vindicating the rights of the injured person).
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