Battery as a tort is the act of intentionally and voluntarily bringing about a harmful or offensive contact with a person or something closely associated with a person without their consent. It, like assault, is a trespass to the person. Also, like assault, battery is an intentional tort as opposed to a tort of negligence.
The degree and quality of the intent present is what distinguishes battery as a tort from criminal battery. In the United States, the intent to do the act that ultimately results in contact is enough intent for battery as a tort. If a person has the intent to inflict an injury on another, the intent is enough for criminal battery.
Here, common law requires that the contact that resulted from an intentional action be “harmful” or “offensive.” To determine if contact is “offensive,” it is judged against the reasonable person standard. If a reasonable person feels that the contact is “offensive,” it can stand. As a result of this standard, a hypersensitive person will fail on battery charges if they stemmed from being jostled on a subway or sidewalk. This harmful is expected and a reasonable person would not find it offensive. “Harmful” is defined by physical damage to the body.
Battery does not require that body-to-body contact be made. Throwing an object at another person that makes contact can constitute battery. In addition, touching an object that is “intimately connected” to a person can also be construed as battery.
The intent exhibited by a person can be transferred as well.
If you have been the victim of the tort of battery, contact the Lake Geneva personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.