Supreme Court of Florida, 1972.
258 So.2d 815
Defendant Battaglia, “in an effort to tease” Plaintiff (Spivey), gave a “friendly unsolicited hug” to the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff received unintended injuries resulting in paralysis on the left side of her face.
In the Circuit Court of Orange Count court granted summary judgment to Defendant stating that his actions were assault and battery and that because the statute of limitations had already run its course for that charge, that the Plaintiff’s motion for a charge of negligence was moot. The appellate court affirmed this decision.
Is the action of the defendant negligent or intentional?
The court holds that the defendant’s actions were negligent because a reasonable man could not have predicted the result of his actions. That furthermore, the result was clearly unintentional and an unintentional result (from the perspective of a reasonable man) is negligence.
Reasoning behind Holding
The court holds that a reasonable man could not foresee the events that occurred here in this case, and that changes the action from being one of assault and battery to one of negligence.
Most results that are unintended and also unforeseeable by a reasonable person are actions of negligence.