Twelve Days of Tort Law: Battery

On the eighth day of Christmas, a marshal served on me! A complaint alleging (civil) battery!

Welcome to part eight of The Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler’s festive twelve part pseudo-satirical series on Connecticut personal injury law: battery.

Most people have heard the term battery in the criminal context, but what you may not be aware is that battery can be brought as a civil action as well. Battery is defined at common law as unconsented-to intentional contact with another that is either harmful or offensive. What does that mean?

Here’s an example. It’s Christmas morning, and the family is opening presents. Little Billy’s presents are wrapped in blue wrapping paper, and Little Susie’s presents are wrapped in pink wrapping paper. Little Billy unwraps a toy dump truck, and begins shrieking in excitement. Little Susie unwraps a doll house, and begins to cry. Little Susie walks over to Little Billy and gives him a great big shove.

“MY DUMP TRUCK!” She screams.

Little Susie touched Little Billy “harmfully” when she shoved him. She meant to do it. Little Billy did not consent to being shoved. Little Susie may be liable to Little Billy for battery. Simple.

Life’s not always fair, but it may be fairer than you think it is. If you’re in a bind, the Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler may be able to help.

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