I teach undergraduate students at a local university.  We just finished covering torts and negligence, which is always a fun subject as the students suddenly see the potential for lawsuits everywhere.  In fact, one assignment was to look for possible claims around campus.  I didn’t realize the campus was a death trap!


Torts are a civil wrong that leads to harm which results in legal liability.  Some examples of torts are defamation, copyright infringement and false imprisonment.  Negligence is within the study of torts and is based on the belief that there is a duty of care owed.  If there is a breach in that duty that caused injury, then people sue for negligence.  For example, supermarkets need to keep their floors clean, and when there is an issue need to mark it accordingly, if not then someone could slip and fall.


Negligence and tort claims can happen to anyone in a business. You need to be aware of the issues and then go about protecting you and your business with a combination of contracts, business entities and insurance. 

Cynthia Pasciuto is an attorney, consultant, mediator and educator in Massachusetts who has taught at Bentley University, NIWH and NESA.