Wallace v. Rosen (2002)

Procedural History

–          Trial court would not allow instructions to injury in regards to battery.

–          Issue on appeal was that the P thought that the court should have allowed instructions to the jury about battery – court denied her instruction request.


–          Wallace (Plaintiff) was a parent of child at a school, she was there during when a fire alarm drill went off…She had a broken foot.  Rosen (Defendant) was a teacher could not hear what the women said, tapped her on the shoulder, and told her it was a fire alarm. The tap leads to Wallace falling down the stairs and injuring herself.


Did the touching constitute an intentional tort?




–          The mere knowledge and appreciation of a risk – something short of substantial certainty – is not intent.

–          The line has to be draw by the courts at some point.

Courts Reasoning

–          Key distinction between negligence and intentional torts – negligence you are only liable for that negligence and not all the result elements – intentional torts, you are liable for the touching and all the subsequent results from that touching..

–          The line has to be draw by the courts at some point where the known danger ceases to be only foreseeable risk which a reasonable person would avoid, and becomes in the mind of the actor a substantial certainty.

–          Intentional touching for battery must be in a rude, insolent or angry manner i.e. that she intended to invade Wallace’s interests in a way that the law forbids.

–          Reasonable person from that person’s vantage point…teacher, in a school, loud noises, loud kids…


– Affirmed in favor of the D (Rosen) no jury instructions in regards to battery were legit.

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