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Posts From November 2019

Photograph: Judge Daniel Coble. Torture, Terrorism, and Torts by Professor Alex Glashausser | November 13, 2019

As first-year law students learn in Torts, one “intends” a result if one either has the purpose of bringing it about or knows with substantial certainty that it will occur. Restatement (Third) of Torts § 1. That is the lesson of Garratt v. Dailey, 279 P.2d 1091 (Wash. 1955). Finding that when 5-year-old Brian Dailey had moved a lawn chair, he had not had the purpose of causing a woman to fall to the ground, the trial court entered judgment for the boy on the woman’s battery claim. But the Supreme Court of Washington, perhaps sensing that the defendant had tricked not only the plaintiff but also the trial judge, remanded the case for a finding of whether the boy had “kn[own] with substantial certainty” that the woman would fall—for if he had, then he would be liable for battery notwithstanding his lack of malevolent purpose.


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