Our office represents victims of negligent or intentional "Torts."
A tort is a wrong resulting from a breach of a legal duty, that exists by virtue of society's expectations regarding interpersonal conduct. Examples of negligent torts are auto accidents, slips and falls, or other conduct where a person is injured or property damaged by accident. Some Intentional Torts may also be crimes, such as assault/battery, fraud, false imprisonment, etc. A number of intentional torts within our practice areas are listed below with a brief explanation.
- Fraud.: If someone knowingly lied to or concealed something important from you, and it caused you damages, you may have been a victim of fraud. This can be as simple as a product that doesn’t perform as advertised or as complicated as Identity Theft. Fraud is the making or suggestion of a fact which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true. Fraud may also occur when a person makes a positive assertion of facts which are false or misleading, when the person has no reasonable basis to believe the facts are true. It may be a promise made without any intention of performing the promise or any other act intended to deceive. Acts of fraud may occur within a contractual sense, or by inducing a person to rely on representations for the purpose of obtaining money or other goods by false pretenses.
- Assault/Battery: Defined as any threat or use of force on another that causes that person to reasonably believe they’re about to be battered. An actual battery involves a use of force resulting in the harmful contact with another. A battery is a violation of a person’s interest in freedom from intentional, unlawful, harmful or offensive, unconsented contact with his or her body. Battery may also occur where a person consents to one form of touching, but another occurs, such as in the case of a doctor performing a procedure to which the patient has not consented.
- Sexual Misconduct.: Sexual harassment is a civil matter, usually involving a workplace situation where unwanted advances won’t stop even after someone has spoken up about it. But what some people don’t realize is that their status as a crime victim can result in a civil case. If you have been abused sexually in a childhood or adult relationship, you may be owed compensation for the damages involved. Our office represents victims of sexual assault, childhood abuse and sexual harassment. There are many statutes that provide rights to such victims, but which are rarely used. If you have been a victim of such conduct, we might be about to help recover damages to compensate you for what you have endured.
- Defamation.: A false statement that harms your reputation could be defamation. For instance, if you own a restaurant and someone goes on a restaurant review site and maliciously claims that your restaurant served tainted food, and people avoid the restaurant as a result, this could result in a claim of defamation. The important issue here is that it involves untrue facts – a matter of opinion, for example, that your restaurant’s food wasn’t tasty, is protected.
Invasion of Privacy.: In a world where people put what they had for lunch on the internet for everyone to see, it’s hard to image an action for invasion of privacy exists. But if someone has intentionally interfered with your privacy, you could have a cause of action. Essentially, this involves
- A use of your name or likeness without permission
- Something that portrays you in a false light (even if it’s not necessarily a negative light.)
- Public disclosure of facts a reasonable person would want kept private.
Privacy is a fundamental constitutional right. A person has a right to be free from the wrongful scrutinizing or publicizing of their private affairs, which are outside of legitimate public concerns. Generally, public figures, politicians, or high-profile persons have less expectation of privacy than other persons. Invasion of Privacy may also occur by an intrusion into a person’s privacy or solitude by another, publicly placing a person in a false light, or the use or appropriation of the person’s name, picture or likeness. An Invasion of Privacy may also occur when an employer discloses results of a medical exam, drug test or other private information.