Answer To MBE Question From November 19th

(A) is correct.

Issue:  Whether  the  fan’s  intent  to  hit  the  other  fan  with  the  beer  can be  transferred to the bystander.

Rule: The doctrine of transferred intent holds that a defendant who intends to commit a tort against one person, but instead commits that or another tort upon another person will be liable to the other person  injured  as  if  the  injured  party  was  the  intended  victim. The doctrine  of  transferred  intent  applies  to  the  “BAIT”  torts  of  Battery, Assault,  False  Imprisonment  and  Trespass  (to  land  and  to  chattel).

Analysis: Here, the fan’s action of throwing the beer can at the other fan was not in self-defense since the shove already happened and the fan who shoved him was walking away; rather, the beer can was in retaliation for the shove. Thus, the fan had the intent of committing a battery against the other fan that was not justified. Since he missed and hit the bystander instead, his intent can be transferred to the bystander and the elements of battery are satisfied.

(A) is correct because the fan is liable to the bystander as if the bystander was the intended victim under the doctrine of transferred intent.

(B) is  incorrect because as  long  as  the  fan  had  the  intention to hit someone, that intent can be transferred to the person actually injured by the battery.

(C) is incorrect because negligence is not at issue. The issue is whether an intentional tort was committed.

(D) is incorrect. The fan was not acting in self-defense since the other fan who shoved him was walking away and was no longer threatening the fan.

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