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Alabama Tort Law
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-28 Alabama Tort Law 28.syn


Assault and Battery


Gregory S. Cusimano;; Michael L. Roberts

Chapter Summary


This chapter from Alabama Tort Law covers the tort of assault and battery, which is any touching by one person of the person or clothes of another in rudeness, anger, or a hostile manner. The chapter explains that words by themselves will not constitute an assault, but they may give meaning to an act and coupled with that act may constitute an assault. It also notes that the act of battery requires an actual touching, but it is not necessary that there be an actual injury to the body. The chapter further describes the required intent element of the tort, differentiating among intent to injure, intent to touch, and negligent touching.

Next, the chapter examines the defense of privilege, where a defendant otherwise liable for assault and battery avoids liability because he was acting under some privilege, authority, or duty. It provides examples of situations in which the defense may apply, such as those involving the police and arrestees, teachers and students, and employers and employees. The chapter also covers the defense of consent, which may apply in cases involving medical treatment. The chapter notes that consent may be implied in law when an emergency situation mandates treatment and a patient is incapable of giving it. It then reviews scenarios where the defendant argues that the plaintiff provoked him and that he responded in self-defense.

Finally, the chapter discusses the nominal, actual or compensatory, and punitive damages that may be available in actions for assault and battery.

Alabama Tort Law (Matthew Bender) is the only truly comprehensive resource on tort law in Alabama. With expert discussion of proof requisites and defenses, it covers all the elements of each tort actionable under Alabama law. It provides the information necessary to determine if there is a case and what is needed to prove or defend it. Alabama Tort Law not only provides up-to-date coverage of relevant case law and analysis, it also includes comprehensive appendices with practical material, including checklists and sample complaints for frequently encountered topics.


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For more information on negligence and intent, see Chapter 1, Negligence, and Chapter 3, Wantonness and Willfulness.

For more information on actions against the police, see Chapter 34, Tort Claims against Municipalities and Other Governmental Entities.

For more information on damages, see Chapter 40, Compensatory Damages; Chapter 41, Compensatory Damages for Injured Property Interests; and Chapter 42, Punitive Damages.

For information on the sufficiency of evidence and burdens of proof, see Chapter 44, Evidentiary Issues in Torts.


See Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Matthew Bender) for the largest and most comprehensive case law compendium in legal literature, with encyclopedic treatment of the personal injury law of every American jurisdiction and coverage of theories of recovery, elements of causes of action, necessary allegations, defenses, and damages.

See Personal Injury Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender) for a discussion of a wide range of the substantive and practical legal problems faced by defense counsel, along with suggestions for the best ways to remedy them, with coverage of such topics as insurance defense, liquor liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, and damages.

See Police Civil Liability (Matthew Bender) for a comprehensive guide to the personal injury and civil rights aspects of police misconduct, with coverage of negligence during police emergencies, false arrest and imprisonment, misuse of weapons, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, Section 1983 and other federal civil rights actions, duty to protect citizens and property, and immunity.

See Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for in-depth legal and policy analyses of compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases, plus case annotations to all jurisdictions and examples of illustrative awards and settlements.

See Punitive Damages (Matthew Bender) for coverage of the latest developments in punitive damages law, along with state-by-state analysis of tort reform and a wide range of pretrial, trial, and post-trial strategies.
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