Written By Daniel Kuria,
A distressed pauper litigant wants to know what is a tort in law, and asked me succinctly to explain on pro bono basis and I obliged.
What is a Tort?
By definition, a tort is a civil wrong ( as opposed to a criminal wrong) which mostly gives rise to a suit for compensation in damages or for which some other remedy would be necessary such as an order to stop the wrong from happening or an order to put things right after the wrong. The right to file a lawsuit in tort springs from the breach of a duty which a person owes other persons in general.
For example, the driver of a motor vehicle owes other road users a duty care to drive his or her car in such a manner that it does not endanger their lives. This is different from harm suffered when a contract is breached because the duty in contract is owed only to people who have signed contract. By its nature, a tort is a civil wrong committed against an individual whereas a crime is a public wrong committed against the Republic of Kenya, even though it may be solely an individual who is injured as a consequence.
Another important element of the torts is that of compensation. In the case of the breach of a contract, compensation is meant to put the injured or wronged party in the position in which he or she would have been if the contract had been performed, while in the case of a tort, the compensation is meant to put a person in the position in which he or her would have been had the wrong not been committed. Thanks.