Intentional infliction of emotional distress

1) Introduction a) Definition – A tort is a civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy. A person who breaches a tort duty (i. e. , a duty to act in a manner that will not injure another person) has committed a tort and may be liable in a lawsuit brought by a person injured because of that tort. Torts is a fault-based system.

b) Purposes of tort law: (1) to provide a peaceful means for adjusting the rights of parties who might otherwise “take the law into their own hands”; (2) to deter wrongful action; (3) to encourage socially responsible behavior; and, (4) to restore injured parties to their original condition, insofar as the law can do this, by compensating them for their injury. 2) Intentional Torts a) Assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to chattels, and trespass to land. b) Intent i) Meaning of intent: There is no general meaning of “intent” when discussing intentional torts.

For each individual tort, you have to memorize a different definition of “intent. ” All that the intentional torts have in common is that D must have intended to bring about some sort of physical or mental effect upon another person. (1) No intent to harm: The intentional torts are generally not defined in such a way as to require D to have intended to harm the plaintiff. (Example: D points a water gun at P, making it seem like a robbery, when in fact it is a practical joke. If D has intended to put P in fear of imminent harmful bodily contact, the intent for assault is present, even though D intended no harm to P.) (2).

Substantial certainty: If D knows with substantial certainty that a particular effect will occur as a result of her action, she is deemed to have intended that result. (a) Garratt v. Dailey – Brian Dailey, five years old, pulls a chair out from under P as she is sitting down. The evidence at trial shows that he did not desire that she hit the ground, but he may have known with substantial certainty that she was trying to sit, and would hit the ground. Held, the case must be remanded to the trial court, to determine whether Brian indeed knew with substantial certainty that P would fall.

If so, he meets the intent requirement for battery. On remand, the trial court found that Brian knew with substantial certainty that P was trying to sit when he pulled the chair away and that there was therefore the intentional tort of battery. (i) The court rejects the notion that purpose and motive are necessary for intent. 2 Torts Outline (ii) Regarding intentional torts, we treat those with diminished mental capacity the same as undiminished adults. As between a person injured and the one who has the diminished capacity, the equity lies with the victim. (iii)Children: 1. Children are liable for intentional torts.

Although the child may be liable, the parents may not have to pay. 2. As plaintiffs with respect to comparative fault, children are given credit for their modified capacity as minors. (b) High likelihood: But if it is merely “highly likely” and not “substantially certain,” that the bad consequences will occur, then the act is not an intentional tort. “Recklessness” by D is not enough. (3) Act distinguished from consequences: Distinguish D’s act from the consequences of that act. The act must be intentional or substantially certain, but the consequences need not be. (Example: D intends to tap P lightly on the chin to annoy him.

If P has a “glass jaw,” which is broken by the light blow, D has still “intended” to cause the contact, and the intentional tort of battery has taken place, even though the consequences – broken jaw – were not intended. ) ii) Distinguish: (1) The intent to do an act. The defendant fires a rifle. (2) The intent to bring about the consequences. The bullet hits someone (intentionally or unintentionally? ) (3) The defendant does not act. He is carried onto someone’s land against his will. (4) He acts intentionally, but under fear or threats. (5) He acts intentionally, but without any desire to affect the plaintiff, or any certainty that that he will do so. He rides a horse, which runs away with him and runs the plaintiff down. (6) He acts with the desire to affect the plaintiff, but for an entirely permissible or laudable purpose.

He shoots the plaintiff in self-defense. iii) Transferred intent – Under the doctrine of “transferred intent,” if D held the necessary intent with respect to person A, he will be held to have committed an intentional tort against any other person who happens to be injured. (Example: D shots at A, and accidentally hits B. D is liable to B for the intentional tort of battery.

) Transferred intent only applies to intentional torts. (1) Talmage v. Smith – D sees Smith and X on D’s shed. D throws a stick at Smith or X, and accidentally hits P. Held, assuming that D used an unreasonable degree of force, he is liable to P, even though it was not P he was trying to hit. 3 Torts Outline Intent is something constructed. Intent must be borne from the defendant’s actions, not from the defendant’s motivations. (2) Different kind of tort intended: We saw above that if a defendant intended to commit an assault, and in fact struck the plaintiff, he will be deemed to have had the intent necessary for battery.

This rule applies in the “transferred intent” situation as well. Thus if A intends to frighten B by shooting near her, and the bullet accidentally hits C, A has committed a battery upon C. iv) Five “trespass writ” torts: (1) battery; (2) assault; (3) false imprisonment; (4) trespass to land; and (5) trespass to chattels. If the defendant intends any one of these and any one of these occurs, he is liable. For example, he is liable when he shoots to freighted A (assault) and the bullet unforeseeably hits a stranger (battery). Transfer only applies to trespass writs. Not always upheld in courts (Popper).

v) Children and intentional torts: (1) Kids, as plaintiffs are different than kids as defendants. (2) Children defendants are treated as adults. We treat those whose mental capacity is diminished as adults. Why? As between a person injured and the one who has diminished capacity, the equity lies with the victim. This puts pressure on society to control children and those with diminished capacity. (3) In comparative fault, children plaintiffs are given credit for their modified capacity as minors. c) Battery i) Definition: Battery is: 1) intentional, (2) harmful or offensive (3) contact with the (4) plaintiff.

(Example: A intentionally punches B in the nose. A has committed battery. ) ii) Intent: It is not necessary that D desires to harm P. D has the necessary intent for battery if it is the case either that: (1) D intended to cause a harmful or offensive bodily contact; or (2) D intended to cause an imminent apprehension on P’s part of a harmful or offensive bodily contact. (1) Example 1: D shoots at P, intending to hit him with a bullet. D has the necessary intent for battery. (2) Example 2: D shoots at P, intending to miss P, but also intending to make P think that P would be hit.

D has the intent needed for battery (i. e. , the “intent to commit an assault” suffices as intent for battery). iii) Harmful or offensive contact: If the contact is “harmful” – i. e. , it causes pain or bodily damage – this qualifies. But battery also covers contacts, which are merely “offensive,” i. e. , damaging to a “reasonable sense of dignity. ” The test is whether or not the contact was permitted by the plaintiff. 4 Torts Outline iv) Extends to personal effects:

Battery may be committed not only by contact with plaintiff’s body, but also contact with her clothing, an object she is holding (e.g. , a cane), etc. This applies to indirect contact, too (e. g. , by ordering his dog to attack the plaintiff). (1) Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc. – P, who is Black, is attending a luncheon at the Brass Ring Club, located in D hotel. As P is standing in line waiting for his food, one of D’s employees snatches the plate from P’s hand, and shouts that because P is Black, he cannot be served in the club. P is not actually touched, nor is he frightened. He is, however, highly embarrassed. Held, P has suffered a battery.

“The intentional snatching of an object from one’s hand is as clearly an offensive invasion of his person as would be an actual contact with his body. ” Furthermore, P can recover compensatory damages for his mental suffering, even though there was no physical injury. v) Plaintiff need not be aware: It is not necessary that the plaintiff have actual awareness of the contact at the time it occurs. (Example: D kisses P while she is asleep. D has committed a battery. ) vi) Scope of harm: If you put a course of harm into motion, you are responsible for all the harms to that person regardless of foreseeability.

vii) Medical malpractice: Completely unsolicited, unconsented touching (e. g. , unwarranted surgery) is a battery. viii) Questions of consent: Athletic injuries, date rape, sexual harassment, transmission of AIDS d) Assault i) Definition: Assault is: (1) intentionally (2) causing apprehension of (3) harmful or offensive contact. (1) Example: D, a bill collector, threatens to punch P in the face if P does not pay a bill immediately. Since D has intended to put P in imminent apprehension of a harmful bodily contact, this is assault, whether D intends to in fact hit P or not. (2) I DE S ET UX v.

W DE S – P runs a tavern with her husband. One night when the tavern is closed, D demands wine. P leans out the window to tell him to go away and D swings at her with a hatchet. D misses, but P is frightened by the attempt. Held, D has committed the tort of assault, even though P was not touched. ii) Intent: The defendant must either have intended to cause the apprehension or contact, or have intended to cause the contact itself. (1) Intended apprehension: First, D intends to put P in imminent apprehension of the harmful or offensive contact, even if D does not intend to follow through (e.g. D threatens to shoot P, but does not intend to actually shoot P).

Intention to frighten, but not actual contact = intent. 5 Torts Outline (2) Intent to make contact: Alternatively, D intends to in fact cause a harmful or offensive bodily contact. (Example: D shoots a gun at P, trying to hit him. D hopes P won’t see him, but P does. P is frightened, but his shot misses. This is assault. ) Attempted battery = assault. (3) Summary: So D has the requisite intent for assault if D either “intends to commit an assault” or “intends to commit a battery.

” iii) Apprehension test: (1) Must be reasonable (2) Apprehension is not to be confused with fear or intimidation. (3) Apparentability will meet the apprehension requirement. iv) No hostility: It is not necessary that D bears malice towards P, or intends to harm her. (Example: D as a practical joke points a toy pistol at P, hoping that P will falsely think that P is about to be shot. D has one of the two alternative intents required for assault – the intent to put P in imminent apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact – so the fact that D does not desire to “harm” P is irrelevant.)

v) “Words alone” rule: Ordinarily words alone are not sufficient, by themselves, to give rise to an assault. Normally, there must be some overt act – a physical act or gesture by D – before P can claim to have been assaulted. (Example: During an argument, D says to P “I’m gonna hit you in the face. ” This is probably not an assault, if D does not make any gestures like forming a fist or stepping towards P. ) (1) Special circumstances: However, the surrounding circumstances, or D’s past acts, may occasionally make it reasonable for P to interpret D’s words alone creating the required apprehension of imminent contact.

vi) Imminence: It must appear to P that the harm being threatened is imminent, and that D has the present ability to carry out the threat. (Example: D threatens to shoot P, and leaves the room for the stated purpose of getting his revolver. D has not committed an assault on P. ) The circumstances must create in the mind of the party alleging the assault a well-founded fear of imminent battery, coupled with the apparent present ability to effectuate the attempt. (1) Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Hill – P comes into a telegraph office managed by D, and reminds D that he is under contract to fix her clock.

D, standing behind the counter says, “if you will come back here and let me love you and pet you, I will fix your clock. ” D then leans across the counter, attempting to touch P. Held, it is a question for the jury whether or not the counter was so wide that D could not have leaned over and touched P. (By implication, if the counter was so wide that D could not have touched P, there could be no assault, even though P may have worried that D would have come around the counter and chased her. ) 6 Torts Outline vii) P unaware of danger: P must be aware of the threatened contact.

There is no assault if the plaintiff does not realize that the act has occurred. Example: there is no assault where the P did not know that a gun was aimed at him with the intent to shoot him. viii) Threat to third persons: P must have an apprehension that she herself will be subjected to a bodily contact. She may not recover for her apprehension that someone else will be so touched. (Example: P sees D raise a pistol at P’s husband. D shoots and misses. P cannot recover for assault, because she did not fear a contact with her own body.).

ix) Conditional treat: Where D threatens the harm only if P does not obey D’s demands, the existence of an assault depends on whether D had the legal right to compel P to perform the act in question. (Example: P, a burglar, breaks into D’s house. D says, “If you don’t get out, I’ll throw you out. ” There is no assault on P, since D has the legal right to force P to leave. ) x) Transferred intent: Intending any of the intentional torts and completing another…intent was transferred and defendant is liable. xi) Criminal v. civil (tortious) assault: (1) Criminal: A victim need not have an apprehension or fear of contact.

A criminal assault occurs if the defendant intends to injure the victim and has the ability to do so. (2) Assault in tort: The victim must have an apprehension of contact and it is not necessary that the defendant have the actual ability to carry out the threat. e) False Imprisonment i) Definition: False imprisonment is: (1) a sufficient act of restraint that (2) confines P to a (3) bounded area. (1) Example: D wants to have sex with P, and locks her in his bedroom for two hours hoping that P will agree. She does not, and D lets her go. This is false imprisonment, because D has intentionally confined P. (2) Big Town Nursing Home, Inc.

v. Newman – Plaintiff was locked up against his will in a nursing home by the staff of the home. Held, False imprisonment is the direct restraint of one person of physical liberty by another without adequate legal justification. (a) One person cannot give away the rights to liberty of another unless there is (1) a power of attorney, or (2) legal guardianship, or (3) mental incompetency. (b) There is no general right for medical members to take away the liberty of others. ii) Intent: P must show that D either intended to confine him, or at least that D knew with substantial certainty that P would be confined by D’s actions.

The tort of false imprisonment cannot be committed merely by negligent or 7 Torts Outline reckless acts. (Example: D, a shopkeeper, negligently locks the store while P, a customer, is in the bathroom. This is not false imprisonment, since D did not intend to confine P. ) iii) “Confinement”: The idea of confinement is that P is held within certain limits, not that she is prevented from entering certain places. (Example: D refuses to allow P to return to her own home. This is not false imprisonment – P can go anywhere else, so she has not been “confined. ”) (1) Whittaker v.

Sandford – D induces P to sail with him from Syria to America, promising to let P off the boat as soon as it arrives in the U. S. The boat arrives at a U. S. port, but D refuses to give P a rowboat so that she can leave the yacht. Held, P committed false imprisonment, since he implicitly agreed to furnish P with whatever was necessary (here, a rowboat) to enable her to leave the yacht. (2) Nature of confinement: If you are confined in a large area, it is still confinement and, hence, false imprisonment. (3) An area is not bounded if there is a reasonable means of escape and P is aware of the egress point.

(4) Inaction is enough for an act of restraint. iv) Means used: The imprisonment can be carried out by direct physical means, but also by threats or by the assertion of legal authority. (1) Threats: If D threatens to use force if P tries to escape, confinement exists. (2) Assertion of legal authority: Also, confinement may be caused by D’s assertion that he has the legal authority to confine P – this is true even if D does not in fact have the legal authority, so long as P reasonably believes that D does, or is in doubt about whether D does.

(Example: Storekeeper suspects P of shoplifting, and says, “I hereby make a citizen’s arrest of you. ” Putting aside whether the storekeeper has a privilege to act this way, Storekeeper has “confined” P, if a reasonable person in P’s position would think that Storekeeper had the authority to make such an arrest, even if under local law Storekeeper did not have that authority. ) (3) Hardy v. LaBelle’s Distributing Co. – Plaintiff’s manager took P to an office and closed the door. While she was there, P’s managers questioned P about stealing a watch. P claimed false imprisonment.

Held, false imprisonment requires that the P be held against her will unlawfully. The individual may be restrained by acts or merely by words, which she fears to disregard. However, it is not enough to feel confined, you must actually be confined. P must demonstrate that she felt compelled to obey. v) Awareness: P must know of confinement: P must either be aware of the confinement, or must suffer some actual harm. (Example: P is locked in her hotel room by D, but P is asleep for the entire three-hour period, and learns only later that the door was locked. This is probably not false imprisonment.)

8 Torts Outline (1) Parvi v. City of Kingston – Police take the intoxicated P out to an abandoned golf course to “dry out. ” After police leave P, he wanders into a highway and is struck by a car. Held, false imprisonment is not suffered unless its victim knows of the dignitary invasion at the time of the incident or confinement. In this case it was the awareness at the time of the confinement, not the inability to recall the confinement, that makes it false imprisonment. (2) Potential exceptions: (a) Awareness of confinement might not be necessary when the one confined is a child.

(b) If you are injured while you are confined and you cannot remember it … this is false imprisonment. (c) There is no general right for law enforcement (police) to take away the liberties of another. vi) False imprisonment must be against the will of the plaintiff. (1) Consent for partial confinement is OK. However, P may revoke their consent to confinement at any time. There is no consent when it is based on fraud. vii) Time: The amount of time one is confined is irrelevant. viii) Escape (1) If there is a reasonable means of escape (e. g.

, a known way out), there is no false imprisonment. If one exit of a room or a building is locked with a plaintiff inside, but another reasonable means of exit is available, there is no imprisonment. (2) Escape is unreasonable if: (1) it involves exposure of the person; (2) there will be material harm to clothing to escape; (3) there is danger of substantial harm; or (4) P does not know of its existence or it is not apparent. (3) A person who is confined does not have to try and escape. ix) Liberty: One person cannot give away the right to liberty of another.

With respect to the medical community, there is no general right to take away the liberty of others. (1) Unless there is a power of attorney. (2) Unless there is a legal guardianship (3) Unless there is mental incapacity. (4) Enright v. Groves – Woman in car/police officer arrests her for not producing license. Held, false arrest (imprisonment) arises when one is taken into custody by a person who claims but does not have proper legal authority. 9 Torts Outline (a) Imprisonment or confinement must be based on lawful reasons.

f) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress i) Definition: This tort is the intentional or reckless infliction, by extreme and outrageous conduct, of severe emotional or mental distress, even in the absence of physical harm. (1) State Rubbish Collectors Ass’n v. Siliznoff – D threatens that if P, a garbage collector, does not pay over part of his garbage collection proceeds to D and his henchmen, D will severely beat P. Since D’s conduct is extreme and outrageous, and since he has intended to cause P distress (which he has succeeded in doing), D is liable for infliction of emotional distress.

The body of law is shifting to recognize not only bodily harm, but also serious, unprivileged, intentional invasions against emotional and mental tranquility. ii) Intent: “Intent” for this tort is a bit broader than for others. There are three types of culpability by D: (1) D desires to cause P emotional distress. (2) D knows with substantial certainty that P will suffer emotional distress. (3) D recklessly disregards the high probability that emotional distress will occur. (Example: D commits suicide by slitting his throat in P’s kitchen.

D, or his estate, is liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress because although D did not desire to cause distress to P, or even know that the distress was substantially certain, he recklessly disregarded the high risk that distress would occur. ) (4) Transferred intent: The doctrine of “transferred intent” is applied only in a very limited fashion for emotional distress torts (i. e. , it is almost always not transferable). So if D attempts to cause emotional distress to X (or to commit some other tort on him), and P suffers emotional distress, P usually will not recover.

(a) Exception: The main exception is that the transferred intent doctrine is applied if: (1) D directs his conduct to a member of P’s immediate family; (2) P is present; and (3) P’s presence is known to D. (b) Taylor v. Vallelunga – P watches here father being beaten up by D, and as a result of seeing this beating, suffers severe emotional distress. Held, since P does not allege that D knew of her presence (nor that D intended to cause her emotional distress), P’s claim does not state a cause of action. P cannot recover because D did not know of P’s presence.

(i) For IIED, the conduct must be directed at the plaintiff (contrast with negligent infliction of emotional distress). iii) “Extreme and outrageous”: P must show that D’s conduct was extreme and outrageous. D’s conduct has to be “beyond all possible bounds of decency. ” 10 Torts Outline (1) Example: D, as a practical joke, tells P that her husband has been badly injured in an accident, and is lying in the hospital with broken legs. This conduct is sufficiently outrageous to qualify. (2) Slocum v. Food Fair Stores of Florida – P, a shopper, asked D, an employee of a grocery store, for the price of an item.

D said, “If you want to know the price, you’ll have to find out the best way you can … you stink to me. ” Held, The intentional infliction of emotional distress is tortious when one experiences an unwarranted intrusion calculated to cause “severe emotional distress” to a person of ordinary sensibilities, in the absence of special knowledge or notice. (3) Offensive language is, by itself, not sufficient for the tort. This is the balancing of the First Amendment. Courts expect a “tough skin. ” (4) Exceptions: (a) Where the conduct is continuos.

(b) Where the defendant is aware of super sensitivities (children, elderly). (c) Innkeeper/common carrier – same conduct, different defendant. Their conduct must be directed at the right type of plaintiff (guests, passengers). iv) Actual severe distress: P must suffer severe emotional distress. P must show at least that her distress was severe enough that she sought medical aid. Most cases do not require P to show that the distress resulted in bodily harm. (1) Harris v. Jones – P has a speech impediment. D physically and verbally mimicked his handicap. P sued for IIED and for the physical ailments he suffered.

Held, the court did not find the harm severe enough to hold D liable. Four elements must coalesce to impose liability: (1) conduct must be intentional or reckless; (2) conduct must be extreme or outrageous; (3) must be a causal connection between conduct and harm; and (4) the emotional distress must be severe. (2) When considering those with a preexisting condition, the harm must in someway exacerbate the condition. There must be a measurable increased in the disability. v) Future threats are generally not actionable. To an extent, all threats are prospective.

The question is imminence. vi) Children: The standard of the outrageous behavior is lowered when the victim is a child. The act does not have to be as extreme to be actionable. vii) Automatic examples of intentional infliction of emotional distress: (1) Intentional false reports of death. (2) Intentional disfigurations of corpses. g) Trespass to Land i) Definition: As generally used, “trespass” occurs when either: 11 Torts Outline (1) D intentionally enters P’s land, without permission. (2) D remains on P’s land without the right to be there, even if she entered rightfully.

(3) D puts an object on (or refuses to remove an object from) P’s land without permission. ii) Intent: The term “trespass” today refers only to intentional interference with P’s interest in property. There is no strict liability. (Example: D, a pilot, loses control of the aircraft, and the aircraft lands on P’s property. This is not trespass to land. ) (1) If you intend to be on another’s property, it is trespass. If you did not intend to be on one’s property, it is not trespass. (2) Negligence: If D negligently enters P’s land, this is generally treated, as the tort of negligence, not trespass.

iii) Particles and gases: If D knowingly causes objects, including particles or gases, to enter P’s property, most courts consider this trespass. (1) Bradley v. American Smelting & Refining Co. – Gases emitted from a copper smelter land on the P’s land making it unusable for livestock feeding. Held, a trespass to land must include: (1) an invasion affecting an interest in the exclusive possession of one’s property; (2) an intentional doing of the act which results in the invasion; (3) reasonable foreseeability that the act done could result in an invasion to plaintiff’s possessory interest; and (4) substantial damage to the res.

iv) Air space: It can be trespass for a plane to fly over P’s property. However, today, most courts find liability only if: (1) The plane enters into the immediate reaches of the airspace (below federally-prescribed minimum flight altitudes); and (2) The flight substantially interferes with P’s use and enjoyment of his land (e. g. , by causing undue noise, vibration, and pollution). (3) City of Newark v. Eastern Airlines – P’s claimed that airline D was flying so low to their property as to constitute a nuisance and a trespass to land.

Held, a landowner owns not only as much of the space above the ground as he occupies, but also as much thereof as he may use in connection with the land. The airspace, which lies above the immediate reaches of his land, is the public domain. (4) Rights of airspace are based on use & function. v) Other factors: (1) Trespass requires some sort of damage, but not always. (2) Visibility: If the substance is invisible, but it accumulates, it can be trespass (air pollution). 12 Torts Outline (3) Nuisance: Something that interferes with the enjoyment of the land.

Requires a balancing of factors between the harms & benefits of that which is creating the nuisance. (a) Trespass to land is about possession and nuisance is about use. h) Trespass to Chattels i) Definition: “Trespass to chattels” is defined as any intentional interference with a person’s use or possession of a chattel. D only has to pay damages, not the full value of the property (as in conversion below). (1) Loss of possession: If P loses possession of the chattel for any time, recovery is allowed even if the chattel is returned unharmed.

(Example: D takes P’s car for a five-minute “joy ride,” and returns it unharmed. D has committed a trespass to chattels. ) (2) Trespass to chattels protects the right to unfettered possession of things. (3) Trespass to chattels is about possession (requires damage). Conversion is about usage (does not require damage). i) Conversion i) Definition: Conversion is an intentional interference with a P’s possession or ownership of property so substantial that D should be required to pay the property’s full value. (1) Example: D steals P’s car, then seriously (though not irreparably) damages it in a collision.

D is liable for conversion, and will be required to pay P the full value of the car (though D gets to keep the car). ii) Intent: Conversion is an intentional tort, but all that is required is that D have intended to take possession of the property. Mistake as to ownership will not be a defense. (Example: D buys an old painting from an art dealer, and reasonably believes that the art dealer has good title. In fact, the painting was stolen from P years before. D keeps the painting in his house for 10 years.

D is liable for conversion, notwithstanding his honest mistake about title.) iii) Distinguished from trespass to chattels: Courts consider several factors in determining whether D’s interference with P’s possessory rights is severe enough to be conversion, or just trespass to chattels. Factors include: (1) Duration of D’s dominion over the property. (2) D’s good or bad faith. (3) The harm done to the property. (4) The inconvenience caused to P. iv) Different ways to commit: There are different ways in which conversion may be committed: (1) Acquiring possession: D takes possession of the property from P. 13 Torts Outline.

(a) Bona fide purchaser: A bona fide purchaser of stolen goods is still a converter, even if there was no way for him to know they were stolen. (2) Transfer to third party: D can also commit conversion by transferring a chattel to one who is not entitled to it. (Example: D, a messenger service, delivers a package to the wrong person, X. X absconds with the goods. D has committed conversion, even though D did not end u