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in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contractcontract,
in law, a promise, enforceable by law, to perform or to refrain from performing some specified act. In a general sense, all civil obligations fall under tort or contract law.
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. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damagesdamages,
money award that the judgment of a court requires the defendant in a suit to pay to the plaintiff as compensation for the loss or injury inflicted. Damages are the form of legal redress most commonly sought.
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. Certain torts, such as nuisancenuisance,
in law, an act that, without legal justification, interferes with safety, comfort, or the use of property. A private nuisance (e.g., erecting a wall that shuts off a neighbor's light) is one that affects one or a few persons, while a public nuisance (e.g.
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, may be suppressed by injunctioninjunction,
in law, order of a court directing a party to perform a certain act or to refrain from an act or acts. The injunction, which developed as the main remedy in equity, is used especially where money damages would not satisfy a plaintiff's claim, or to protect personal
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. Many crimes are also torts; burglary, for instance, often constitutes trespasstrespass,
in law, any physical injury to the person or to property. In English common law the action of trespass first developed (13th cent.) to afford a remedy for injuries to property.
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The history of Anglo-American tort law can be traced back to the action for trespass to property or to the person. Not until the late 18th cent. was the currently observed distinction made between injury willfully inflicted and that which is unintentional. In the early 19th cent., negligencenegligence,
in law, especially tort law, the breach of an obligation (duty) to act with care, or the failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances.
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 was distinguished as a separate tort, and it has come to supply a large portion of tortious litigation.

The general tendency today is to rule that the breach of any duty constitutes a tort, rather than to rule that an alleged tort must fit into some previously recognized variety, such as assault, false imprisonment, or libel. Some courts treat any willful unjustified injury as tortious, while others hold that the act must be defined as tortious by law, regardless of the perpetrator's motive. Torts that injure reputation or feelings are personal torts; those violating statutory rights are constitutional torts; those involving real or personal property are property torts. Property torts include several classes of torts, such as automobile accidents, negligence, product liability, and medical malpracticemalpractice,
failure to provide professional services with the skill usually exhibited by responsible and careful members of the profession, resulting in injury, loss, or damage to the party contracting those services.
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In some areas, tort liabilityliability,
in law, an obligation of one party to another, usually to compensate financially. It is a fundamental aspect of tort law, although liability may also arise from duties entered into by special agreement, as in a contract or in the carrying out of a fiduciary duty.
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 can be assigned without a finding of fault, as in no-fault automobile insurance. In areas where the finding of fault remains crucial, and the awards of compensatory or punitive damages can be substantial, tort litigation can be time-consuming and costly. Its defenders claim tort litigation promotes safety and economic efficiency, while critics argue the process does little but raise insurance premiums while providing windfalls to a handful of lawyers. Efforts to reform tort law hope to set limits to damage settlements and to broaden no-fault statutes for use in alternative forms of litigation. In the 1990s many U.S. states, pressed chiefly by conservatives and business interests, passed laws limiting damages, but state courts have repeatedly voided these limits as violations of "open courts" guarantees in state constitutions.

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Law a civil wrong arising from an act or failure to act, independently of any contract, for which an action for personal injury or property damages may be brought
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
There is no reason to suppose that Austin's views on the law of tort, or on any other branch of law, ever had the least influence.
The cases depend on ordinary principles of the law of tort.' (113) That is undoubtedly correct.
For judges, the immediately pressing question was how the common law of tort should be adapted to accommodate the statutory standards.
Blum and Steinhardt suggested that the Article III problem could be solved by reading the ATS as a grant of authority "to create a federal common law of torts to give effect to the purposes of international norms," (54) a possibility supported by the Supreme Court's decision in Textile Workers Union v.
(45) See also Robert Stevens, 'The Divergence of the Australian and English Law of Torts' in Simone Degeling, James Edelman and James Goudkamp (eds), Torts in Commercial Law (Thomson Reuters, 2011) 37, 40.
constitute a function for courts applying the common law of tort that is
(27) Pollock was even more scathing--in a review of Winfield's Province of the Law of Tort written some years after Addison's death, he dismissed Addison as someone "for whose judgment nobody now cares a farthing", declared that Addison's "book on Tort was only less bad than his book on Contracts," and went on to take a swipe at those "who see nothing but shreds and patches in the law of civil wrongs." (28)
Pakistan Bar Council member Maqsood Buttar called for the adoption of reformative as well as deterrent approach by adding defamation related punishments in Pakistan Penal Code as existing law of Tort had insubstantial implementation in the country as compared to the civilized societies of the world.
(c) Payment of compensation (Law of Tort) to those affected (wage earners, shopkeepers and others) during sit-ins at D-Chowk, Faizabad and The Mall in Lahore.
Concentrating on the law of tort, the article considers how two of these emigres--Wolfgang Friedmann at The University of Melbourne and John Fleming at Canberra University College--were at the forefront of a new breed of tort scholarship, not based on English traditions, that contributed to the increasing intellectualisation of the Australian legal academy.]