Personal Injury Law


What are some defenses to intentional torts?

Some applicable defenses to intentional torts are consent, self-defense, necessity, and statute of limitations. For example, let’s say a boxer knocks out his opponent with a vicious uppercut, the fallen boxer cannot file a tort suit for battery because he has voluntarily consented to the punches. However, former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield may have had a good tort case against former opponent (and former champion) Mike Tyson when they fought their second bout. In that infamous bout, Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear twice. Holyfield consented to punches in the boxing ring but not the ear bites.

Self-defense is another interesting defense. The general rule is that a person has a privilege to use reasonable force to defend him or herself. Questions arise whether a defendant used reasonable force under the circumstances to protect his home or property. People have been sued because they shot and killed intruders or thieves. State laws differ on the availability of the scope of self-defense, particularly the use of deadly force. Some states allow the use of deadly force to protect property, not just a person’s life.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Law Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App