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  • Jeff Vail


Battery is the twin tort with common law assault. Battery is the tortious and intentional physical harm caused by contact to a person’s body, whereas assault is the tort when one intentionally places someone in immediate fear of such harm.

The elements for the tort of battery are:

(1) Defendant’s act resulted in physical contact with the plaintiff; and

(2) The defendant intended to make harmful or offensive physical contact with the plaintiff (or knew that he/she would probably make such contact).

CJI-Civ. 20:5.

There are, of course, many affirmative defenses to the tort of battery, including consent, self-defense, defense of another person, defense of property, and recapture of personal property.

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