(305) 363-1735

Intentional Torts

Mass Torts Lawyer

An intentional tort occurs when the defendant acts with an intent to perform an action that causes injury to another. The most common intentional torts are assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Depending on which intentional tort a plaintiff is alleging, they will need to prove that the defendant acted with either general or specific intent. General intent is the intent to perform an act, but not an intent to bring about the consequences that result from the act. Specific intent is the intent to perform an act and for that act to bring about the consequences that result from that act. 


Assault is typically defined as intentionally causing another person to be in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. The plaintiff does not have to suffer physical injury to recover for assault. A victim is “apprehensive” if they reasonably believe that the defendant’s conduct will result in imminent harmful or offensive contact if the conduct is not prevented. The victim does not have to believe that the defendant will be effective in making contact, but only that the defendant is capable of making such contact through the conduct they are exhibiting. The elements of assault are: 1) the defendant acts, 2) the defendant intends to cause the victim to apprehend imminent harmful contact, and 3) the defendant’s action does cause the victim to apprehend imminent harmful contact. 


Battery consists of intentionally causing harmful or offensive contact with another person without that person’s consent. The elements of battery are: 1) the defendant acts, 2) the defendant intends to cause contact with the victim, 3) the defendant does cause contact with the victim, and 4) the defendant’s contact with the victim is harmful or offensive. The defendant must only intend to act and does not have to int to harm the victim to be held liable for battery. 

False Imprisonment 

A defendant commits false imprisonment when he commits an act of restraint against another person which confines that person in a bounded area. The elements of a false imprisonment claim are: 1) the defendant intends to act, 2) the defendant intends to confine the plaintiff without the plaintiff’s consent and without authority of law, 3) the defendant’s act causes the plaintiff to be so confined, and 4) the plaintiff is aware of the confinement. The bounded area may be a physical barrier such as a locked door, the use or threat of physical force to restrain the plaintiff, a failure to release a plaintiff, or an invalid use of legal authority to constrain the plaintiff (such as arresting someone without a warrant). If there is a reasonable means of escape from the area, the area is not bounded. However, if the means of escape will result in risking physical harm to the plaintiff or their family, the area is bounded.

Trespass to Land 

Trespass to land occurs when a person enters another’s property without permission. The trespasser must only intend to enter the property. Therefore, a person can accidentally cross from their property to yours and will still have committed a trespass. Additionally, a trespass is committed when a physical item, such as a ball, enters another’s property. A plaintiff suing for trespass to land must prove four elements: 1) the defendant intended to enter the land in question, 2) the land was owned by the plaintiff, 3) the defendant did so without the plaintiff’s consent, and 4) the plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s trespass. 

Trespass to Chattels

Trespass to chattels occurs when one intentionally interferes with another’s lawful possession of personal property. A “chattel” is any personal property. In order for trespass to chattels to occur, the defendant must either 1) dispossess the plaintiff of a chattel, 2) use or intermeddle with a chattel that is in the plaintiff’s possession, or 3) damage the plaintiff’s chattel.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress 

Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs where one acts outrageously and with intent to cause another to suffer severe emotional distress. Intentional infliction of emotional distress has four elements: 1) the defendant acts, 2) the defendant’s conduct is outrageous, 3) the defendant acts for the purpose of causing the plaintiff emotional distress so severe that it can be expected to adversely affect the plaintiff’s mental health, and 4) the defendant’s conduct causes the plaintiff to suffer such distress. If you have questions about a case, contact mass torts lawyer, like one at The Law Office of Eglet Adams for information about your situation.