What if the product’s defect was intentional as opposed to a negligent accident – can I still sue?

Intentional Act Negligent Injury Law

What if the product’s defect was intentional as opposed to a negligent accident – can I still sue?

Typically yes. In an intentional tort, the person wants to cause the consequences from his/her act or believes that the consequences of the act are reasonably certain to occur (as opposed to being negligent where the injury was not necessarily intended). Many crimes are not only subject to criminal prosecution and punishment but also give rise to a remedy under civil law.

Examples of intentional torts include:

Assault – the causing of a reasonable apprehension of harm that is likely to occur with the present ability to cause such harm

Battery – harmful or offensive touching of the person of another

Defamation – oral (known as “slander”) or written (known as “libel”) communication intended to cause a person to be hated, ridiculed, caused to be shunned by others, or injures a person in his/her occupation

False imprisonment – keeping a person in a specific location against his/her will without justification

Intentional infliction of emotional distress – an act which a person does against another with the intent to cause the injury to another. Typically, the act must be that of extreme and outrageous conduct to give rise to compensation to the injured party

In intentional torts, the injured party may not have to prove actual intent. The injured party may prove that the natural consequences of the act would cause injury and therefore the tortfeasor should be held responsible for the harm suffered – regardless of whether the tortfeasor had the actual “mense rea” (a guilty mind or wrongful purpose). By proving that the damages sustained would be the natural consequence of an act, an injured party may recover for an intentional tort without there being negligence on the part of the tortfeasor (although intentionl torts sometimes may be proven though negligence). A product liability lawyer can assess the facts and circumstances, and also candidly evaluate what a likely recovery might be.

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