Tort (Liability Claim Forms) – recover damages from an agency, organization, or individual

    Below are several tort-related definitions.  Additional liability claim forms aka tort forms will be available soon.  Here is the Tort form in case you have been damaged by a federal agent’s actions:



(1966) A violation of one’s constitutional rights by a government officer, redressable by a civil action filed directly against the officer. A constitutional tort committed under color of state law (such as a civil rights violation) is actionable under 42 USCA § 1983.— Sometimes (informally) shortened to contort.”[1]

Definition of TORT:

(16c) 1. A civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on persons who stand in a particular relation to one another. Tortious conduct is typically one of four types:

1.) a culpable or intentional act resulting in harm
2.) an act involving culpable & unlawful conduct causing unintentional harm
3.) a culpable act of inadvertence involving an unreasonable
risk of harm
4.) a nonculpable act resulting in accidental harm for which, because of the hazards involved, the law imposes strict or absolute liability despite the absence of fault.”

Second Definition of TORT:

“(pl.) The branch of law dealing with such wrongs.”

     Excerpt from J.W. Cecil Turner’s Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law:

   To ask concerning any occurrence ‘Is this a crime or is it a tort?’ is — to borrow Sir James Stephen’s apt illustration — no wiser than it would be to ask concerning a man ‘Is he a gather or a son?’ For he may well be both.”[2]

     Excerpt from R.F.V. Heuston’s Salmond on the Law of Torts:

     “We may… define a tort as a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common-law action for unliquidated damages, & which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust or other merely equitable obligation.”[3]

     Excerpt from W. Page Keeton’s Prosser & Keeton on the Law of Torts:

     “It might be possible to define a tort by enumerating the things that it is not. It is not a crime, it is not a breach of contract, it is not necessarily concerned with property rights or problems of government, but is the occupant of a large residuary field remaining if these are taken out of the law.  But this again is illusory, & the conception of a tort of legal garbage-can to hold what can be put nowhere else is of no help.  In the first place, tort is a field which pervades the entire law,& is so interlocked at every point with property, contract &
other accepted classifications that, as the student of law soon discovers, the categories are quite arbitrary.  In the second, there is a central theme, or basis or idea, running through the cases of what are called torts, which, although difficult to put into words, does distinguish them in a greater or less degree from other types of cases.”[4]


(1970) A tort involving exposure to disagreeable or harmful environmental conditions or harm to & degradation of an environment (e.g., the pouring of acid on golf greens).  An environmental tort is usually harmful to land rather than people, though people may find it unpleasant (e.g., odors from a landfill).  By contrast, toxic torts involve exposure to harmful substances that cause personal physical injury or disease.”

Definition of TOXIC TORT:

(1979) A civil wrong arising from exposure to a toxic substance, such as asbestos,
radiation, or hazardous waste. A toxic tort can be remedied by a civil lawsuit. (usually a class action) or by administrative action. See mass tort.

Definition of MASS TORT:

(1940) A civil wrong that injures many people. Examples include toxic emissions from a factory, the crash of commercial airliner, & contamination from an industrial waste disposal site.”

Definition of TORTFEASOR:

(17c) Someone who commits a tort; a wrongdoer.”

Definition of LIABILITY:

n. (18c.) 1. The quality; state, or condition of being legally obligated or accountable; legal responsibility to another or to society, enforceable by civil remedy or criminal punishment <liability for injuries caused by negligence>. — Also termed legal liability; subjection; responsibility.  2. A financial or pecuniary obligation in a specified amount; DEBT <tax liability> <assets & liabilities>”

     Excerpt from William R. Anson’s Principles of the Law of Contract:

    “The term ‘liability’ is one of the least double signification, in one sense is the synonym of duty, the correlative of right; in this sense it is the opposite e of privilege or liberty. If a duty rests upon a party, society is now commanding performance by him & threatening penalties. In a second sense, the term ‘liability’ is the correlative of power & the opposite of immunity.  In this case society is not yet commanding performance, but it will so command if the possessor of the power does some operative act. If one has a power, the other has a liability.  It would be wise to adopt the second sense exclusively.  Accurate legal thinking is difficult when the fundamental terms have shifting senses.”[5]

     Excerpt from John Salmond’s Jurisprudence:

     “Liability or responsibility is the bond of necessity that exists between the wrongdoer & the remedy of the wrong.  This vinculum juris is not one of a mere duty or obligation; it pertains not to the sphere of ought but to that of must.”[6]

Definition of FAULT:

(13c.) 1. An error or defect of judgment or of conduct; any deviation from prudence or duty
resulting from inattention, incapacity, perversity, bad faith, or mismanagement.  2. A breach of duty
as an element of the tort of negligence. Fault is a traditional element in determining the legal
responsibility for an injury suffered by another.  3. Civil law. The intentional or negligent failure to
maintain some standard of conduct when that failure results in harm to another person.”

Definition of CULPABLE:

adj. (14c.) 1. Guilty; blameworthy. 2. Involving the breach of a duty.”


(1925) Negligence that results in a foreseeable injury that would not have occurred but for the negligent person’s actions. — Sometimes shortened to breach of care.

    The general principle is that the claimant is entitled to full compensation for his or her losses.  In tort, the purpose of damages is to put the claimant in the position that s/he would have been in had the tort not been committed. In Contract, the purpose of damages is to put the claimant in the position that s/he would have been in had the contract been performed. In either case the claimant must take all reasonable steps to mitigate his or her losses.

    When an action is filed to recover damages only, and not brought for the specific recovery of lands, goods, or sums of money, the usual course is to issue a writ of inquiry.  By virtue of such writ, the sheriff, aided by twelve lawful men, ascertains the amount of damages, and makes return to the court of the inquisition, which, unless set aside, fixes the damages, and a final judgment follows.

    But when the action is founded on a promissory note, bond, or other contract in writing, by which the amount of money due may be easily computed, it is the practice, in some courts, to refer to the clerk or prothonotary the assessment of damages. In such cases no writ of inquiry is issued.[7]


[1]: All definitions from: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: J.W. Cecil Turner’s Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law 543 (16th ed. 1952)

[3]: R.F.V. Heuston, Salmond on the Law of Torts 13 (17th e. 1977)

[4]: W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser & Keeton on the Law of Torts § 1, at 2-3 (5th ed. 1984)

[5]: William R. Anson, Principles of the Law of Contract 9 (Arthur L. Corbin ed., 3d Am. ed. 1919)

[6]: John Salmond’s Jurisprudence 364 (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947)

[7]: U.S. Legal, “Assessment of Damages & Legal Definition”:

How the U.S. Judicial System is Designed to Enable The People to Fix the System when used as Designed