LEGAL VIEWPOINT: TORT – By Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Legal Counsel, Bahrain

Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Legal Counsel, Bahrain

A tort is a civil injury to people, property or reputation for which compensation must be paid. Trespass, fraud, defamation, invasion of privacy and some assaults can be torts. Herein, intentional torts result from the deliberate actions of another natural or juristic person. Example, a manufacturer knowingly fails to install a relatively inexpensive safety device on a product, or, refusing to rectify a product design flaw, as in many disasters we see every day, can render a company liable for an intentional tort. The actions of employees on the job may also constitute intentional tort. To remedy torts, Courts will usually impose compensatory damages. This is a sort of payment intended to redress an injury suffered. Courts may also impose punitive damages including fines that exceed actual losses suffered and that are intended for punishment.

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Almost, most of tort suits involve charges of negligent conduct falling below legal standards for protecting others against unreasonable risk. If a company builds a railway system that fails and harms people, this company may later be sued by anybody injured or damaged. Negligence torts may also result from employees’ actions. There are many cases in this connection and Courts ordered very big amounts of money as compensation.

Since some time, businesses have faced legal suits based on the principle of strict product liability. In this principle, liability can result not from producer’s negligence but from a defect in the product itself. An injured party need only to show that, the product was defective, the defect was the cause of the injury and the defect caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

Many recent cases in strict product liability have focused on injuries or illness attributable to toxic waters or other hazardous substances that were legally disposed. Because plaintiffs need not demonstrate negligence or fault, these suits frequently succeed, and such suits are increasing tremendously.

Tort law applies to most business relationships that are not governed by contracts. For example, if a person violates building rules in residential areas, he cannot be sent to jail, as if the acts are criminal violation. However, other actions can be pursued against him/her as fines or other actions related to the property. This is needed to take action against the negligent recklessness committed by him. Sometimes fines could reach astonishing figures. Be careful and vigilant.

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