Starting with Margaret's causes of action against Dennis, we find assault, battery and IIED.
First, we will break down the rules to each of these intentional torts and apply them to this
Assault. Assault it the reasonable apprehension of a person for imminent threat of a battery
(intentional physical harm or offense). There are nuanced rules for establishing assault.
Assault does not occur with words only - an action supporting those words must be
Assault also does not depend and the actual ability of a defendant, but on the
The level of fear of the plaintiff does not negate assault.
In this case, assault appears when Dennis pointed a squirt gun at Margaret. Of course, water
being squirted at someone is usually not harmful, but it could be and at the very least it would
be considered offensive to a reasonable person. Dennis may counterargue that the squirt gun
was not loaded, but that is irrelevant in assault. Margaret had a reasonable apprehension that
the gun was loaded. Dennis may also counterargue that Margret said she wasn't scared. Again
this is irrelevant as the plaintiff's level of fear does not negate assault.
We do not see a valid claim for battery against Dennis because battery requires an act, intent
and causation with the plaintiff's person. At no point did Dennis touch Margaret, or any part of
her person (something she was holding, wearing, etc.). Since no physical contact was made in
any manner, we do not see any reason for battery.
IIED is usually a fallback tort in trail. IIED is established when defendant acts in extreme and
outrageous conduct, usually transcending all bounds of decency. We do not see Dennis acting in
this manner at any point. Dennis' threat of throwing the apple was only by words (not enough
for assault as an action supporting words must be present); his threat to shoot the squirt gun
would most likely not constitute IIED as a squirt gun is generally used as a toy between children,
as in the case. Dennis squirting a squirt gun at Margaret would not constitute an outrageous
conduct by a reasonable person.
Therefore, Margaret has a solid case for assault only.
Moving to Dennis's causes of action, specifically assault and battery, the same definitions as
described above apply.
We see valid claims for neither of these.
Dennis may claim assault or battery (or both) for when Margaret threw the apple at him.
However, as the definition of apprehension implies awareness, Dennis was never aware of her
attempt to throw the apple. This negates an option for assault.
Battery also does not exist as not contact was ever made between either party. In the case of
the lemonade, Margaret
intend to serve Dennis lemonade, but by no means was she
purposefully attempting to harm or would she have been substantially certain it would cause
harm. Using a subjective approach, as battery calls for, Margaret should not be liable for battery.