General Negligence and Intentional Torts:
“Negligence” means failure to use ordinary care, that is, failing to do that which a person of ordinary prudence would have done under the same or similar circumstances or doing that which a person of ordinary prudence would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
“Ordinary care” means that degree of care that would be used by a person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.
“Proximate cause” means that cause which, in a natural and continuous sequence, produces an event, and without which cause such event would not have occurred. In order to be a proximate cause, the act or omission complained of must be such that a person using ordinary care would have foreseen that the event, or some similar event, might reasonably result therefrom. There may be more than one proximate cause of an event.
“New and independent cause” means the act or omission of a separate and independent agency, not reasonably foreseeable, that destroys the causal connection, if any, between the act or omission inquired about and the occurrence in question and thereby becomes the immediate cause of such occurrence.
There may be more than one proximate cause of an event, but if an act or omission of any person not a party to the suit was the “sole proximate cause” of an occurrence, then no act or omission of any party could have been a proximate cause.
If a person is confronted by an “emergency” arising suddenly and unexpectedly, which was not proximately caused by any negligence on his part and which, to a reasonable person, requires immediate action without time for deliberation, his conduct in such an emergency is not negligence or failure to use ordinary care if, after such emergency arises, he acts as a person of ordinary prudence would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
An occurrence may be an “unavoidable accident”, that is, an event not proximately caused by the negligence of any party to the occurrence.
If an occurrence is caused solely by an “act of God,” it is not caused by the negligence of any person. An occurrence is caused by an act of God if it is caused directly and exclusively by the violence of nature, without human intervention or cause, and could not have been prevented by reasonable foresight or care.
“Malice” means a specific intent by someone to cause substantial injury or harm to someone else.
“Gross negligence” means more than momentary thoughtlessness, inadvertence, or error of judgment. It means such an entire want of care as to establish that the act or omission in question was the result of actual conscious indifference to the rights, welfare, or safety of the persons affected by it.
“Clear and convincing evidence” means the measure or degree of proof that produces a firm belief or conviction of the truth of the allegations sought to be established.
“Falsely imprison” means to willfully detain another without legal justification, against his consent, whether such detention be effected by violence, by threat, or by any other means that restrains a person from moving from one place to another.
“Malicious prosecution” occurs when one person initiates or procures, with malice, and without probable cause at the time the prosecution is commenced, the prosecution of an innocent person.
“Malice” means ill will, bad or evil motive, or such gross indifference to the rights of others as to amount to a willful or wanton act.
“Probable cause” means the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite belief in a person of reasonable mind, acting on the facts or circumstances within his knowledge at the time the prosecution was commenced, that the other person was guilty of a criminal offense. The probable cause determination asks whether a reasonable person would believe that a crime had been committed given the facts as the complainant honestly and reasonably believed them to be before the criminal proceedings were instituted.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when the defendant acts intentionally or recklessly with extreme and outrageous conduct to cause the plaintiff emotional distress and the emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff was severe.
“Extreme and outrageous conduct” occurs only where the conduct has been so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.
A person commits an assault if he (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury; or (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when he or she knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
An “employee” is a person in the service of another with the understanding, express or implied, that such other person has the right to direct the details of the work and not merely the result to be accomplished.
One who would otherwise be in the general employment of one employer is a “borrowed employee” of another employer if such other employer or his agents have the right to direct and control the details of the particular work inquired about.
An employee is acting in the scope of his employment if he is acting in the furtherance of the business of his employer.
An employee is not acting within the scope of his employment if he departs from the furtherance of the employer’s business for a purpose of his own not connected with his employment and has not returned to the place of departure or to a place he is required to be in the performance of his duties.
A person is not acting as an employee if he is acting as an “independent contractor.” An independent contractor is a person who, in pursuit of an independent business, undertakes to do specific work for another person, using his own means and methods without submitting himself to the control of such other person with respect to the details of the work, and who represents the will of such other person only as to the result of his work and not as to the means by which it is accomplished.
A “joint enterprise” exists if the persons concerned have (1) an agreement, either express or implied, with respect to the enterprise or endeavor; (2) a common purpose; (3) a community of pecuniary interest in