Torts I, Pages 20–23

Wagner v. State

Supreme Court of Utah, 2005


Plaintiff was in line at K-Mart; defendant pulled plaintiff to the ground by her hair. Defendant was mentally disabled. Defendant was in the custody of the State of Utah. Utah has sovereign immunity against battery.

Procedural History:

Trial court found for defendant. Appellate court affirmed.


Must a harm be intended for an intentional tort?

Plaintiff's Argument:

Defendant's actions constituted negligence.

Defendant's Argument:

Defendant's actions constituted battery.


Defendant intended contact, even if he didn't intend to be harmful.


Battery only requires the contact to be intended, not the resulting harm.



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