Various Types of Torts § 1:

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help Walkthrough:


General Descriptive Terms
Used to Help Classify Torts;

     Which of the following may apply to your case?

mass tort – a civil wrong that injures many people.

intentional tort – committed by someone acting with general or specific intent (i.e. battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land).

negligent tort – committed by failure to observe the standard of care required by law under the circumstances. — aka act of negligence.

prima facie tort – an unjustified, intentional infliction of harm on another person, resulting in damages, by one or more acts that would otherwise be lawful (often business related).

public tort – a minor breach of the law (i.e. a parking violation) that, although it carries a criminal punishment, is considered a civil offense rather than a criminal one because it is merely a prohibited act and not inherently reprehensible conduct.

quasi-tort – when one who did not directly commit is liable, such as when an employer is held liable for a tort committed by an employee.

maritime tort – any tort within admiralty jurisdiction.


Personal Torts:

personal tort – injury to one’s person, reputation, or feelings.

  • dignitary tort – injury to one’s reputation or honor (defamation).

Filing Against Government Officials:

government tort – committed by the government through an employee, agent, or instrumentality under its control.

  • constitutional tort – a violation of one’s constitutional rights by a government officer, redressable by a civil action filed directly against the officer.
  • tortious denial of benefits – the improper, often baseless refusal to recognize a valid claim for financial assistance. — aka wrongful denial of benefits.

Tort-Claims Act – a federal or state statute that, under stated circumstances, waives sovereign immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been injured by the government or its agents and employees; these laws typically require the prospective plaintiff to file a claim before starting litigation, giving the government an opportunity to engage in discovery and, sometimes, settle.

Torts that involve
Environmental Damage and/or Toxic Chemicals:

environmental tort – involves exposure to disagreeable or harmful environmental conditions or harm to & degradation of an environment (i.e. land, water, air).

toxic tort – a civil wrong arising from exposure to a toxic substance, such as asbestos, radiation, or hazardous waste. 

Business Related:

business tort – a tort that impairs some aspect of an economic interest or business relationship, causing economic loss rather than property damage or bodily harm. — aka economic tort.

tortious interference with contractual relations – a third party’s intentional inducement of a contracting party to break a contract, causing damage to the relationship between the contracting parties.

tortious interference with prospective advantage – an intentional, damaging intrusion on another’s potential business relationship, such as the opportunity of obtaining customers or employment.  aka intentional interference with prospective economic advantage; interference with a business relationship; tortious interference with a business advantage; tortious interference with economic relations

Family Law Torts:

marital tort – a tort by one spouse against the other (i.e. assault and battery, transmission of STDs, emotional distress).  aka domestic tort.

preconception tort – committed before the victim has been conceived.

prenatal tort – committed against a fetus (including torts a child can sue for after being born).

Miscellaneous Torts:

property tort – the unlawful interference by one person with the enjoyment by another of his private property, including property loss or damage to such property.

sanctions tort – a means of recovery for another party’s discovery abuse, whereby the judge orders the abusive party to pay a fine to the injured party for the discovery violation.

tortious battery – a nonconsensual, intentional, and offensive touching of another, but not necessarily with the intent to do harm or offense as required in a criminal battery.

Tort-of-Another Doctrine – in some states, a statutory rule that authorizes a court to award litigation related expenses, including attorney’s fees, to a prevailing party forced to bring or defend a lawsuit against a third party for a tort committed by someone else who refused, after notice, to bring or defend the lawsuit.

Crimes that usually cause Torts – actionable via both civil proceedings and criminal proceedings.