Main And Specific Causes Of Action In The Common Law

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Cause of Action

In legal system, a cause of action is a set of facts or legal theory that gives an individual or entity the right to seek a legal action against another. This applies to the filing of a civil lawsuit for such wrongs as property damages, personal injury, or monetary loss, as well as to criminal wrongs such as battery, theft, or kidnapping. A cause of action may come from an act or failure to act, breach of duty, or a violation of rights, and the facts or circumstances of each specific case often have an effect on the case.

Specific causes of action

The specific causes of action that may be alleged in a complaint, the exact wording of which may vary from state to state, and by area of law. A number of few ordinarily cited causes of action include:

  1. Breach of contract.
  2. Fraud.
  3. Tort (Battery, assault, slander, and etc.)
  4. Suits in equity.

Origin of Common Law

The Common law may be a body of law based on custom and general principles embodied just in case law that function precedent and is applied to situations not covered by statute. In different words, common law includes those principles, usages and rules of action applicable to the govt. and security of person and property, that don't rest for his or her authority upon any specific and positive declaration of the need of the legislature. The Common law applies only to civil cases. England is the origin of the common law that exists within the U.S.

After the War of American Independence, this Common Law was adopted by every of the states moreover because the national government of the new nation. Once new states were formed, they also adopted the common law system either by a specific provision or by a judicial decision. However, if states were formed from nonheritable territory wherever different systems of law prevail, then the question of that system prevailed determined by legislative enactment or judgment.


A tort, in common law jurisdictions, could be a misconduct that causes an applicant to suffer loss or damage leading to legal liability for the one that commits the wrongdoing act. It will include the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, monetary losses, injuries, invasion of privacy, and lots of different things.

Tort law, where the purpose of any action is to get a personal civil remedy such as damages, may be compared to legal code that deals with criminal wrongs that are punishable by the state. Tort law may additionally be contrasted with contract law that also provides a civil remedy when breach of duty; however whereas the written agreement obligation is one chosen by the parties, the requirement in each tort and crime is imposed by the state. In each contract and tort, successful claimants should show that they have suffered predictable loss or damage as an immediate results of the breach of duty.

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Types of TORTS

  1. Intentional Torts.
  2. Property Torts.
  3. Dignitary Torts.
  4. Economic Torts.
  5. Nuisance.
  6. Negligence.
  7. Strict Liability Torts.
  8. Duty to Visitors.

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are any intentional acts that are moderately predictable to cause damage to a personal, which do so. Intentional torts have several subcategories:

  • Torts against the person include assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud, though the latter is also an economic wrongdoing.
  • Property torts involve any intentional interference with the property rights of the plaintiff. Those commonly recognized include trespass to land, trespass to chattels (personal property), and conversion.

Examples of Intentional Torts

  1. Assault.
  2. Battery.
  3. False Imprisonment.
  4. Fraud/Deceit.
  5. Trespass (to land and property).
  6. Defamation.


There is a specific code of conduct which every person is expected to follow and a legal duty of the public to act a certain way in order to reduce the risk of harm to others. If failed to stick to these standards is known as negligence. Negligence is the most common type of tort.

The most common examples of negligence torts are cases of slip and fall, which occur when a property owner fails to act as a reasonable person would, thus resulting in harm to the visitor or customer.

Examples of Negligence Torts

  1. Slip and fall accidents
  2. Car accidents
  3. Truck accidents
  4. Motorcycle accidents
  5. Pedestrian accidents
  6. Bicycle accidents
  7. Medical malpractice

Strict Liability

Strict liability applies to cases where responsibility for an injury can be imposed on the wrongdoer without proof of negligence or direct fault. What matters is that an action occurred and resulted in the eventual harm to another person. Defective product cases are prime examples of when liability is maintained despite intent. In lawsuits such as these, the injured user only has to establish that their injuries are directly caused by the product in case in order to have law on their side. The fact that the company did not “intend” for the consumer to be injured is not a factor.

Examples of Strict Liability Torts

  1. Defective products (Product Liability).
  2. Animal attacks (dog bite lawsuits).
  3. Abnormally dangerous activities.


A public nuisance is when a person unreasonably interferes with a right that the general public shares in common. A private nuisance is when the plaintiff's use and enjoyment of her land is interfered with substantially and unreasonably through a thing or activity.

There are several defenses to this tort including contributory negligence, assumption of risk, coming to the nuisance, or statutory compliance. The typical remedy for nuisance ( public or private) is damages. Courts may grant injunction relief if the legal remedy is not adequate.

TORT Remedies

There are 3 basic kinds of remedies in tort law: Legal Remedies (damages), Restitutionary Remedies, and evenhanded Remedies.

Legal Remedies for Torts

Also called damages, these are financial payment created by the defendant for the aim of compensating the victim for his or her injuries, losses, and pain/suffering. These are calculated in keeping with the victim’s losses instead of the tortfeasors gains. Damages could also be additional in some kinds of tort claims.

Restitutionary Remedies

These also are meant to restore the plaintiff to a position of “wholeness”, as close as possible to their state before the tort occurred.

Restitutionary damages

These are kind of like damages, except that they're calculated based on the tortfeasor’s gain instead of the plaintiff’s losses.


Replevin allows the victim to recover personal property that they may have lost because of the tort. As an example, they will recover property that was taken. Replevin are often in addition to legal damages in some cases.


This is wherever the court ejects someone who is wrongfully staying on real property owned by the plaintiff. This can be common in instances of continuing trespass.

Equitable Remedies

These are available wherever financial damages won't adequately restore the victim to wholeness.

Temporary Restraining Order

Victims of physical hurt or harassment could get a restraining order that prevents the defendant from making contact with or coming near to the plaintiff.

Temporary or Permanent Injunction

An injunction could either forbid unlawful activity by the defendant or it should order them to take affirmative steps.

Cases with Cause of action

  1. Strict Liability State Dep't of Environmental Protection v. Ventron Corp, 94 NJ 473; 468 A2d 150 (1983), is the leading case holding that a landowner who stores toxic wastes on his premises is strictly liable to anyone damaged by any such wastes that escape and flow onto the property of others.
  2. Bennett v. Mallinckrodt, Inc, 698 SW2d 854 (Mo App 1985). In their petition, plaintiffs allege they are representatives of a class who have worked or will work on property adjacent to a radiopharmaceutical processing plant operated by defendant, Mallinckrodt, Inc. (Mallinckrodt). Alleging injuries to their physical and mental health from exposure to radioactive emissions released by the plant, plaintiffs seek damages from Mallinckrodt based on three theories of common law tort: negligence, assault and battery and strict liability for 'ultrahazardous activities.' In the trial court, Mallinckrodt filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that plaintiffs' action was barred (1) by the federal preemption doctrine, (2) by the political question doctrine and (3) by the action being based upon mere speculative possibilities of future harm. The trial court dismissed plaintiffs' petition on two grounds: the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the petition failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
  3. Pezo v. Tuscola Cty, 284 Mich 369; 279 NW 864 (1938), the court said that if plaintiff is damaged by water coming onto his land from defendant's new artesian well he is entitled to have the 'nuisance' stopped and to be compensated.
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