tort

  

Definition

Generally refers to private (as opposed to public) and civil (as opposed to criminal) offenses for which law may provide monetary compensation (see damages) to the aggrieved party as a remedy. Some torts (such as assault), however, are crimes. Whereas (1) breach of a contract does not ordinarily fall under tort law, negligent driving (a tortious act) by a taxi driver is a breach of contract to carry the passenger safely to his or her destination; (2) it usually must be shown that the wrong was committed with intention or negligence, tort of strict liability does not require any such proof; (3) common legal relief for a tort is monetary compensation, in some cases (such as nuisance to a neighbor) an injunction to prevent recurrence of the act may be granted; (4) motive with which a tortious act is committed is usually immaterial, in some cases (such as malicious prosecution) presence of malice is essential.

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