Torts

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Torts, in common law jurisdictions, are civil wrongs which unfairly cause someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act, called a tortfeasor. Although crimes may be torts, the cause of legal action is not necessarily a crime as the harm may be due to negligence which does not amount to criminal negligence. The victim of the harm can recover their loss as damages in a lawsuit. In order to prevail, the plaintiff in the lawsuit must show that the actions or lack of action was the legally recognizable cause of the harm.

Quotes[edit]

  • A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place — like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 234-38.
  • The general principle is, that in order that an action may be maintained in this country in respect of a tort committed outside the jurisdiction, the act complained of must be a wrongful act, both by the law of this country and by the law of the country where it was committed; but it is not necessary that it should be the subject of civil proceedings in the foreign country.
    • Lopes, L.J., Machado v. Fontes (1897), 66 L. J. Q. B. D. 543.
  • To entitle a plaintiff to maintain an action, it is necessary to shew a breach of some legal duty due from the defendant to the plaintiff.
    • Erie, C.J., Cox v. Burbidge (1863), 13 C. B. (N. S.) 436.
  • That great principle of the common law which declares that it is your duty so to use and exercise your own rights as not to cause injury to other people.
    • Williams, J., Gray v. North-Eastern Rail. Co. (1883), 48 L. T. Rep. (N. S.) 905.
  • The well-known maxim that you must not, when you have the choice, elect to use your property so as to cause injury to your neighbour.1—
    • Brett, M.R., Whalley v. Lancashire, &c. Rail. Co. (1884), 13 L: R. Q. B. D. 137. 1 The maxim is Sic utere tuo vt alienum non ladat, 9 Rep. 59. See Br, Leg. Max., tith ed., 347.
  • Surely every injury imports a damage, though it does not cost the party one farthing, and it is impossible to prove the contrary; for a damage is not merely pecuniary, but an injury imports a damage, when a man is hereby hindered of his right.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), 2 Raym. 955.
  • La ley est un egal dispenser de Justice, et ne relinque aucun sans remedy sur son droit, sans son propre laches: The law is an equal dispenser of Justice, and leaves none without a remedy, for his right, without his own laches.
    • Vaughan, J., Tustian v. Roper (1670), Jones's (Sir Thos.) Rep. 32.
  • Personal injury is a more serious matter than damage to property.
    • Cockburn, C.J., Reg. v. Heppinstale (1859), 7 W. R. 178.
  • An injured party may proceed in Westminster Hall notwithstanding any order of the House.
    • Willes, C.J., Wynne v. Middleton (1745), 1 Wils. 128.
  • If a man sustains damage by the wrongful act of another, he is entitled to a remedy, but to give that title two things must concur, damage to himself and a wrong committed by the other. That he has sustained damage is not of itself sufficient.
    • Bayley, J., R. v. Commissioners of Pagham (1828), 8 B. & C. 362.
  • Actual perceptible damage is not indispensable as the foundation of an action; it is sufficient to show the violation of a right, in which case the law will presume damage.
    • Lord Holt, Ashby v. White (1703), 3 Ld. Raym. 938.
  • I am not able to understand how it can be correctly said in a legal sense, that an action will not lie even in the case of a wrong or a violation of a right, unless it is followed by some perceptible damage which can be established as a matter of fact; in other words, that injuria sine damno is not actionable. On the contrary, from my earliest reading I have considered it laid up among the very elements of the common law, that wherever there is a wrong there is a remedy to redress it; and that every injury imports damage in the nature of it; and if no other damage is established, the party injured is entitled to a verdict for nominal damages.
    • Joseph Story, Webb v. Portland Manufacturing Co., 3 Sumn. Rep. 189.
  • I am by no means sure that if a man kept a tiger, and lightning broke his chain, and he got loose and did mischief, that the man who kept him would not be liable.
    • Bramwell, B., Nichols v. Marsland (1875), L. R. 10 Ex. 260.
  • To say that whenever the world grows wiser it convicts those that came before of negligence.
    • Bramwell, B., Carstairs v. Taylor (1871), L. R. 6 Ex. 222.
  • The public can have no rights springing from injustice to others.
    • Lord Romilly, M.R., Walker v. Ware, Hadham, &c. Rail. Co. (1866), 12 Jur. (N. S.) 18.
  • It is our duty to take care that persons in pursuing their own particular interests do not transgress those laws which were made for the benefit of the whole community.
    • Lord Kenyon, C.J., King v. Waddington (1800), 1 East, 158.
  • Every man that is injured ought to have his recompence.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), 2 Lord Raym. 955.
  • If a man who makes to another person, upon a solemn occasion, an assertion, upon which that person acts, he lies under an obligation to make good his assertion.
    • Sir J. Romilly, M.R., Re Ward (1862), 31 Beav. 7.
  • Ex dolo main non oritur actio.
    • Cowp. 343.
  • None shall take advantage of his own wrong.
  • He whose dirt it is must keep it that it may not trespass.
    • Holt, C.J., Tenant v. Goldwin (1704), 1 Salk. 361.
  • I know of no duty of the Court which it is more important to observe, and no powers of the Court which it is more important to enforce, than its power of keeping public bodies within their rights. The moment public bodies exceed their rights] they do so to the injury and oppression of private individuals, and those persons are entitled to be protected from injury arising from such operations of public bodies.
    • Lindley, M.R., Roberts v. Gwyrfai District Council (1899), L. R. 2 C. D. 614.
  • It is a vain thing to imagine a right without a remedy; for want of right and want of remedy are reciprocal.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), 2 Raym. 953.
  • Where a man has but one remedy to come at his right, if he loses that he loses his right.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), 2 Raym. 954.
  • It is not very consonant with the simplicity of the old law to give two remedies for the same evil.
    • Eyre, C.J., Jefferson v. Bishop of Durham (1797), 2 Bos. & Pull. 122.
  • Better that an individual should suffer an injury than that the public should suffer an inconvenience.
  • The advantage to the community outweigh the injury to the individual.
    • Drove, J., Henwood v. Harrison (1872), L. R. 7 Com. PI. Ca. 613.
  • What a man does in his closet ought not to affect the rights of third persons.
    • Lord Kenyan, C.J., Outram v. Morewood (1793), 5 T. R. 123.
  • No tort is assignable, in law or equity. It is not within any species of action at common law.
    • Yates, J., Millar v. Taylor (1769), 4 Burr. Part. IV. 2386.
  • The Court would not endure that a mere form or fiction of law, introduced for the sake of justice, should work a wrong, contrary to the real truth and substance of the thing.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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