Intentional tort

Baron Associates P.C. represents individuals in all types of cases involving intentional torts including but not limited to assault and battery, sexual harassment, fraud and defamation. Each intention tort comprise of different elements that must be proven in order for a Plaintiff or the person suing to prove their case. Each type of case has its own standard that is vital to success. An individual that has been a victim of an intentional tort needs to consult a law firm that is well versed in handling intentional tort cases. Contact Baron Associates P.C. for an experienced intentional tort attorney.

assault & battery

Have you been charged with assault and/or battery in New York? Or do you believe you have been a victim of assault and/or battery? In New York, these charges are normally brought on and/or by an individual or individuals who were in a physical altercation or fight. A more serious charge of “Aggravated assault” may be charged and/or claimed if a deadly weapon such as a knife or baseball bat was involved. Though many people may not know the difference between them, assault and battery are separate types of personal injury claims. 

WHAT IS ASSAULT AND BATTERY?

When one person purposefully acts in a way that causes someone else to think that he or she will be hurt or harmed, that is considered assault, even if no physical contact has taken place. When a person raises a fist and states, “I’m going to knock your lights out” and you reasonably fear being punched, you have just been assaulted. Once contact is made, the claim becomes battery, otherwise saying, once the punch lands, you have just been battered. Assault and/or battery are a part of both the criminal court system and civil court system. When a part of a criminal matter, the State of New York or the City of New York will charge a defendant with the crimes of assault and/or battery under criminal codes. When a part of a civil matter, a plaintiff may have civil claims of assault and/or battery against a defendant.

The clearest sign that something was an act of assault is the fear experienced by the victim. Fear or apprehension involves the reasonable belief that you are in danger of physical harm. A lot of factors can play a role into determining whether that fear was justified such as: perception of the situation, the environment, previous knowledge, etc.On the other hand, battery cases have no need for apprehension or fear. As long as physical contact was purposefully committed, with the intent that that contact would be harmful or offensive, the grounds for a battery suit have been met. Any contact that alters the body of the victim—regardless of causing pain or not—can be considered offensive or harmful. An act can also be considered offensive if it affects the dignity of the victim.

On the other hand, battery cases have no need for apprehension or fear. As long as physical contact was purposefully committed, with the intent that that contact would be harmful or offensive, the grounds for a battery suit have been met. Any contact that alters the body of the victim—regardless of causing pain or not—can be considered offensive or harmful. An act can also be considered offensive if it affects the dignity of the victim.

The statute of limitations for an assault and battery civil case in New York State is one year after the incident. This means that the victim has just one year from the time of the incident to file a lawsuit.

An essential element as to determine whether or not the plaintiff of an assault or battery has a case is that the plaintiff must have sustained damages. Damages can vary and may be economic, non-economic, or punitive (made to punish the defendant). Unfortunately, Plaintiffs should and must also consider the finances that are required when filing an assault lawsuit. Civil court lawsuits assist plaintiffs by requiring that the perpetrator provide the victim with compensation. However, if the person who assaulted and/or battered the victim doesn’t have many assets, there won’t be much to collect when the case is over. Discussing the matters of your claim with an experienced intentional tort attorney such as Baron Associates P.C. is the best way to determine which steps to take during a potential civil assault or battery lawsuit.

defamation

WHAT IS DEFAMATION?

Defamation is the area of law that provides a civil recourse when someone else’s words and/or statements end up causing harm to you, your reputation, or your livelihood. Within defamation, there are two types: Libel and Slander.

  • Libel is a written or published defamatory statement.
  • Slander is a spoken defamatory statement.

The Four elements of defamation are:

  • A defendant made an oral or written defamatory statement regarding the plaintiff;
  • That was published or stated without privilege or authorization to do so by the defendant; and
  • There was resultant injury, unless the statement falls within a category of “per se” harm.

In defamation “per se” cases, a plaintiff does not need to prove damages. The categories of defamation per se in New York are:

  • Accusing a plaintiff with a serious crime;
  • Stating false facts that tend to injure a plaintiff in his or her business trade or profession;
  • Stating that a plaintiff has a loathsome disease;
  • Imputing that a plaintiff is unchaste.

At Baron Associates P.C., our team of lawyers and paraprofessionals have knowledge and experience representing individuals who have been defamed and suffered damage to their personal and professional life as a result of such defamatory statements. If someone has written something about you or said something about you out loud without your consent, and those defamatory statements have negatively impacted your professional reputation, you may have a cause of action against this person or parties. It is important to find out immediately if you have a case for defamation in New York.

Not only has Baron Associates P.C. represented victims of defamation, we have also successfully defended individuals charged with making a defamatory statement. We have extensive knowledge of the defenses to a defamation charge. For instance, true statements and opinions can be defenses to a claim for defamation. If you are named as a defendant in a defamation action, our attorneys can assist you in defending that action by making sure you are aware of any and all the defenses available to you.

If you believe you are the victim of defamation, whether libel or slander or have been accused of making a defamatory statement, please feel free to immediately contact our team of experienced and highly qualified attorneys.

sexual harassment

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Sexual harassment is considered a specific form of gender discrimination, because it is harassing conduct that occurs because of an individual’s gender. Gender discrimination in all its forms, including sexual harassment, is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment claims are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). New York State’s Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit sexual harassment and reach much smaller employers than the Civil Rights Act. In 2010, 11,717 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC across the country.

The EEOC groups sexual harassment into two main categories. The first is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. This happens where one is submitting to unwelcome sexual conduct and this is made the basis for employment decisions – such as requiring sexual favors in order to grant a promotion, basically “you do something for me, and I’ll do something for you”. On the flip side of the coin, when a rejection of sexual advances forms the basis for a decision to fire, demote, or refuse to promote an employee, quid pro quo sexual harassment has also occurred. This type of harassment results in an economic loss to the victim. Basically, “since you didn’t do something for me, I am taking away something from you.”

WHAT IS A HOSTILE WORK ENVRIONMENT?

The other form of sexual harassment is called “hostile work environment” harassment. A hostile work environment is created or exists when unwelcome verbal or physical conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to do his or her job, or creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile working environment. The environment created is fact specific and varies in a case by case nature. Even general, non-sexual comments – such as comments about one gender – can create a hostile work environment where the comments are frequent or severe. Indeed, words do not even need to be exchanged for a hostile work environment to exist. In example is a coworker posting or displaying pictures of an offensive nature to a reasonable person.  However, it is important to distinguish that minor isolated incidents or harmless lighthearted teasing do not amount to a hostile work environment. If you are uncertain, it can be helpful to consult with an intentional tort attorney to get an idea of whether the conduct at issue is so offensive as to constitute a hostile work environment.

Sexual harassment is a fact specific case by case issue and does not always follow expected patterns. Men can also easily be the victim of sexual harassment. Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of harassment charges filed with the EEOC by men has risen from approximately 12% to 16%. Sexual harassment can also occur between members of the same sex, based on unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature or patterns of favoring the opposite sex for inappropriate reasons. Anyone affected by improper conduct can be a victim, not just the person directly subjected to harassing conduct, and harassment can take place without any economic injury to the victim.

Sexual harassment cases are difficult and require an experienced intentional tort attorney. There is inevitably a high level of discomfort in testifying about the facts of harassment, and often sexual harassment cases involve “he said, she said” types of testimony, making credibility and any documentary evidence or email critical. While retaliation based on pursuing a sexual harassment claim is prohibited, the workplace may remain uncomfortable.

At Baron Associates, P.C., we understand the difficulties of pursuing a sexual harassment claim, but we also know that no one should have to tolerate unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace. We are aggressive advocates for our clients and have experience in harassment and discrimination claims.

fraud

WHAT IS FRAUD?

The legal definition of Fraud is that it is a false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

What this means is that fraud is when an individual deceives another person for their advantage and that person relies on an individual’s misrepresentation that wrongfully transferred a right, interest or property to them.

In New York, fraud can come in many forms such as: fraudulent inducement, fraudulent concealment, or misrepresentation, all of which are prohibited under both the common law and the Deceptive Practices Act. It is strongly recommended to strategize with your intentional tort attorney to see which category your situation falls under and what can be done.

Hypothetically, when attempting to obtain compensation for fraudulent inducement, it is a requirement for you to prove a misrepresentation (basically a lie) or material omission of fact (important information was withheld) that was known by the defendant. You also would need to prove that the deception was made in order to convince or trick you to rely on it, you actually did rely on it, and you were harmed as a result of relying on it.

If you choose to bring a lawsuit under the Deceptive Practices Act, by contrast, different elements must be proven. To bring a claim under New York General Business Law section 349, a plaintiff and their attorney must establish that a business’ act or practice was misleading, the act or practice was consumer-oriented, and harm resulted from the deceptive practice or act. There is no need to prove any intent to mislead.

If you have been charged with fraud or have been defrauded yourself in the state of New York, it is important to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced intentional tort attorney such as Baron Associates P.C. can either help you mount a strong defense to help defeat or minimize the consequences you are facing or find you compensation for being defrauded.

Brooklyn, New York

Contact Baron Associates P.C. Law Firm for a Free Consultation

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