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.