Glidden v. Szybiak
Supreme Court of NH - 1949
- P was a 4-year-old girl playing with D's dog. P jumped on dog's back and pulled his ears. The dog bit P's nose off.
- P sued D for damages.
- D's defense was that P was engaged in trespass to chattel and that her injuries were the result of her trespass.
- Trial court found for P, said P too young to be liable for an intentional tort.
- NH Supreme Court affirmed, found for P.
- Does an action for trespass to chattel require suffering of actual damages as a result of the trespass?
- An action for trespass to chattel requires the suffering of actual damages as a result of the trespass.
- Trespass to chattel is the interference with another's property without their consent.
- Unlike trespass to land, trespass to chattel requires actual injury by the owner.
- There is no evidence that the dog was in any way harmed by the actions of P. Thus, there is no trespass to chattel, and P should be able to recover.
- Trespass to chattel is the intentional interference with the use and enjoyment of one's property.
- Action is only valid if there are actual damages, i.e., chattel is harmed.