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Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are not just areas of criminal law-they're also part of tort law. This means that you might be able to bring personal injury lawsuits if you've been the victim of assault or battery. Although quite similar, assault and battery have some subtle differences. Assault is an intentional threat or attempt to inflict injury on a person, whereas battery is the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without consent.

The one major difference between assault or battery as a crime and as a tort lies in the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the jury would have to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a tort case, also called a civil case, the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence.


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When a juvenile detention center fails to protect the civil rights of the youth offenders allegedly being rehabilitated, they may be subjected to lawsuits brought by, or on behalf of, the offenders, their families, and/or court appointed guardians.

Although minors may not enjoy many of the same rights and privileges under the law, minors in custody still have basic civil rights, including equal protection, the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to adequate/necessary medical care while in custody.

As such, when a juvenile detention center is found to be disregarding the rights of youth offenders, civil rights groups like the ACLU are compelled to sue to stop the violations. However, individual minors may also be able to file suit if they have been injured, subjected to violations of their individual civil rights, or abused, at detention centers.

A doctor licensed by the state of New York is being sued by his former girlfriend due to allegedly drugging her with Plan B without her consent, or even her knowledge. Plan B is an over-the-counter birth control drug that allows a woman to take the pill after having unprotected sexual intercourse.

The civil lawsuit is seeking $5 million in damages as a result of the shockingly horrific conduct alleged. The complaint explains that the girlfriend found the box for the drug and asked her then-boyfriend about it, expecting to find out about an affair. However, as alleged in the complaint, he came clean and explained that he slipped the drug in her drink because he knew she would never agree to take it.

Dr. David Dao was one of four passengers on a United Airlines flight that was recently forced to give up his seat for UA employees. The airline claims that the flight was overbooked and it needed four passengers to give up seats for employees that needed to be at the plane's destination for work.

After Dr. Dao boarded, while in his seat, he was asked to exit the plane. When he refused, stating that he had patients to see the next day, police were called, and he was forcibly removed from his seat, and literally dragged down the plane's aisle and off the plane. The incident was captured by cell phone video by a few passengers, who posted the videos to social media.

Technically, the law permits a child to sue their parents as a result of child abuse. There are no special rules preventing this type of lawsuit. However, what a child considers to be abuse may not actually be legally considered abuse.

Parents are generally permitted to punish their children, which can include depriving children of luxuries such as video games, computers, internet access, a car, dating, seeing friends, or even dessert. A parent can make a child sit in the corner, go to their room, do chores, or worse, babysit their siblings. Depending on the manner in which it is done, even corporal punishment or spankings can be okay in the eyes of the law (so long as they are not excessive) .

Fortunately for the employee-victim of a senseless workplace attack meted out by his boss, a New York court of appeals has affirmed that the victim can seek damages directly against the boss. The case involves a New York golf club's employee, who was senselessly, and for no reason, hit in the groin by his boss with a golf club while at work. While the boss maintains that contact was minimal, it is also alleged he just laughed and walked away afterwards.

As a result of the blow, the employee had to have a testicle surgically removed. Clearly, this sort of conduct is beyond fathom. However, seemingly adding on to the unfathomability of the situation, the injured worker's boss, whom the victim is seeking to hold individually liable, was actually trying to argue that workers' compensation should be the only exclusive legal remedy. The courts did not agree.

New U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently reversed prior Department of Justice guidance directing the federal government to reduce its reliance on private prisons to house federal inmates. While this was good news for shareholders of private prison company stocks, it looks like bad news for American taxpayers and inmates: as the DOJ conceded when it announced the phase out last year, private prisons "do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department's Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security."

So what happens if you're injured or mistreated in a private prison? Do you have any legal recourse?

News of children, teens, and even adults being sexually assaulted or even raped, by religious leaders is unfortunately something that appears in the news too often. Just last week, a lawsuit was filed in North Carolina alleging that a youth counselor who was attending seminary training abused his authority and attempted to groom a teenage girl for sexual assault.

The lawsuit alleges that the counselor urged the teenager to confide in him, especially when it came to sexual urges, so that they could talk about those urges to supposedly resist them. However, when the counselor was invited into the girl’s family home for Christmas dinner, the situation quickly escalated. After eating, he took the teenager on a drive, where he parked the car at the church, then allegedly raped her. If this wasn’t bad enough, the counselor is alleged to have continued to manipulate the teenager, by telling her that people would turn against her, her reputation would be damaged, and no one would believe her, all so that she would continue to have sex with him.

A former Team USA doctors for the Olympic gymnastics team, along with the USA Gymnastics organization, and Michigan State University, are currently facing a civil lawsuit as a result of decades of alleged sexual abuse by the one doctor against minor athletes. Nearly 20 former and current athletes have alleged that Dr. Lawrence Nassar sexually abused them while he was conducting medical examinations on them.

The allegations stem back to the 1990s, and include claims that the doctor would grope and molest athletes during medical examinations, and would even digitally penetrate them as part of bogus procedures. In addition to the civil lawsuit, Nassar is facing federal criminal charges for possession of child pornography. The child pornography charges allege that Nassar possessed child pornography from 2003 to 2016. If convicted on those charges alone, Nassar could be facing anywhere from 5 to 40 years in prison.

In some limited situations, an individual can be sued for yelling at or for insulting another person. While the threshold for when an insult or scream crosses the line is rather hazy, there are some clearly defined lines that are helpful.

For instance, if the yelling is threatening violence, or is done in a way where the listener fears for their physical safety, there are likely possible legal consequences. Not only is the act of making a threat of violence illegal in every state criminally (so long as the threat is credible), but it can also lead to civil torts, such as assault, or intentional inflection of emotional distress.

Walmart has long been associated with low prices, but the megaretailer is also becoming synonymous with high crime rates. While Bloomberg recently noted that staff cuts may have contributed to over 200 violent crimes at Walmart locations in 2016 (including attempted kidnappings and multiple stabbings, shootings, and murders), watchdog groups who have been charting crime on company property for the past decade see the same old story.

So are criminals responsible for their own dangerous behavior, or can Walmart be held liable for crime in its stores and parking lots?