Talmage v. Smith
Supreme Court of MI - 1894
- Some children were playing on a shed located on D's property. D warned the children to leave, and most of them did leave.
- P and other boy remained on another shed. Attempting to scare the other boy away, D threw a stick at the boy. He did not see P. Instead, it hit P's eye and caused him to lose his sight.
- P sued for battery and assault. Trial court found for P. D appealed and argued that he did not see P at all and did not intend to hit him or scare him away. He was attempting to scare the other boy.
- Lower court found for P.
- MI Supreme Court affirmed, found for P.
- Is an individual who intends an act or consequence against one party and instead injures a third party liable to that third party for the injuries suffered?
- An individual who intends an act or consequence against one party and instead injures a third party is liable to that third party for the injuries suffered.
- P's right to recover depends on D's intention to hit somebody, and to inflict an unwarranted injury upon someone.
- D is not relieved of liability because he injured someone other than the intended victim.
- If D threw the stick with the intent merely to frighten the boy, he is not liable. Also, if the jury decides that the throwing of the stick was reasonable under the circumstances, P could not recover.
- This case describes the doctrine of "transferred intent."
- The doctrine of "tort-to-tort transferred intent"…
- The intent to do one tort transfers to the tort that occurs.
- Tort intent can be transferred if both are under the following categories: battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass, and trespass against chattels (sometimes IIED).