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Special Tort Actions by Mind Map: Special Tort Actions
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Special Tort Actions

Special Tort Actions   In Tort Law, there are special tort actions to address knowing deceit. Fraud, misrepresentation, and actions having to do with business are the topics for this lesson.


FRAUD   People do not always tell the truth. Sometimes, their failure is intentional. Sometimes it is not. All falsehoods are not actionable under the law.   Fraud is a deceitful and intentional action against another to gain some form of advantage. Intent is an element of fraud and must be proved for the deceit to be actionable. The omission of a relevant fact that conceals the breach of a legal duty is also fraud if it causes injury to the plaintiff or gives the defendant an unjustified or unconscionable advantage.   The elements of fraud are: Misrepresentation of a material fact (or concealment of a material fact) that is false made knowingly by the defendant with the intention to cause the plaintiff to rely on it and plaintiff’s reliance is reasonable under the circumstances and which causes injury to the plaintiff. All of these elements must exist for a fraud action to exist.   A material fact is one that is crucial to the parties’ understanding of the transaction. If the misrepresentation does not concern a material fact, the misrepresentation does not rise to fraud.


MISREPRESENTATION   A misrepresentation is a false statement not known to be false. Some misrepresentations are actionable. This tort resembles fraud, but rather than intentionally making a false statement, the defendant makes a statement in good faith but with careless disregard for its truth. As in all negligence-related cases, there must be a duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant that is breached. All of the negligence standards apply.   Although there are defenses to negligent misrepresentation, certain defenses are unavailable. For example, a lack of knowledge in reference to the accuracy of the statements is not a defense. The defendant should use reasonable care in making statements that cause a plaintiff to rely on the statements to his or her detriment.  Privity of contract does not have to exist in a negligent misrepresentation case. Further, making the statement in good faith is not an excuse or defense.


A mistake is not actionable under Tort law. People make mistakes. Contract law will relieve parties from their obligations under the contract if there is a mutual mistake. If there is a unilateral mistake, the contract continues to have legal effect.

Interference with Contract

Interference with contract is an action in which a person interferes, knowingly and intentionally, with a contract between two others to get one of the people in the contract to breach.

Sexual Harassment

The term “sexual harassment” covers a wide range of behaviors and is defined differently by different states. The most common elements are: relating to a person’s gender concerns intentional and/or repeated conduct unwanted or unreturned interest interference with the person’s ability to do his or her job.   There are two common types of sexual harassment: Quid pro quo—the defendant requests sexual acts as a basis for employment or promotion. Hostile environment—the acts of the defendant create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive working environment.  

Dram Shop Actions

Dram Shop laws exist in most states. These statutes create liability for a person who continues to serve alcohol to an obviously inebriated person, who then injures another.

Worker's Compensation

Worker’s Compensation is a statutory action for those who are injured on the job. The purpose of these statutes is to give the injured a fixed, monetary amount in return for giving up the right to sue the employer. Statutes are very specific about the amount that will be received for specific injuries.

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