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In the absence of statutes that clearly delineate acceptable from unacceptable behavior – that’s the realm of criminal law, and still plenty complicated – tort law often requires a court to draw boundaries on the fly as individual cases come up. Here we look at a cluster of problems arising generally from situations in which society might say the wrongness of an act may be minimal or entirely lacking – yet a victim steps forward to earnestly claim that his or her wishes about bodily integrity have been disrespected.
The rough and tumble of daily life – “the implied license of the playground” – allows some license for those who offend with physical contact, including against the especially sensitive. When does that license end, particularly if a plaintiff’s special sensitivities are known to a defendant? Are there any larger principles at work to help us resolve conflicts in this zone, or that at least capture the instincts that might find themselves in opposition?EDIT PLAYLIST INFORMATION DELETE PLAYLIST
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|1||Show/Hide More||Latent Sensitivities and Reservations|
|1.1||Show/Hide More||Wishnatsky v. Huey--"The Overly-Sensitive Intruder"|
|1.2||Show/Hide More||O'Brien v. Cunard--"The Silent Vaccine Objector"|
|2||Show/Hide More||The Spectrum Between Subjective and Objective|
|2.1||Show/Hide More||Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications, Inc.--"The Smoke in the Face Case"|
|2.2||Show/Hide More||Werth v. Taylor--"The Blood-Transfusion-Refusing Jehovah's Witness"|
|3||Show/Hide More||Beyond Physical Contact Or The Threat Thereof|
|3.1||Show/Hide More||Womack v. Eldridge--"The Distressing Accusation of Molestation"|
January 18, 2016
Harvard Law School, Berkman Center
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