Main Content

Main Content

Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Topps v. Ferraro

Headnote

How should courts weigh wrongful acts in determining intent? Plaintiff and defendant stepped outside in order to discuss something. Once outside, the defendant confronted plaintiff about earlier statements allegedly made by plaintiff about defendant's girlfriend. The conversation grew heated and argumentative. According to the defendant, the plaintiff shoved him in the shoulder, and he responded by punching plaintiff in the face. As a result of the punch, plaintiff's eye was permanently damaged and his vision impaired. At trial, defendant testified that the punch was "a matter of reflexes" and that it wasn't "thought out".