Torts Multiple Choice Questions and Answers for MBE Exam

Torts multiple choice Question 1 is based on the following fact situation.

John Calvoni, a candidate for a city counsel position in the City of North Park, was present in town square on September 21. The City of North Park had a tradition of allowing candidates for the office of city council the privilege to present a short speech on this date for the purpose of informing interested members of the public on the points of view which each candidate holds. Several candidates delivered their speeches. John Calvoni then presented his five minute speech. After John Calvoni had delivered his speech he went back to resume his seat which was on the stage about ten feet behind the podium. Jack Bland, an opposing candidate who was sitting in the seat next to John Calvoni's assigned seat, decided that it would be entertaining to pull Calvoni's chair out from under him. As Calvoni began to sit down, Bland pulled the chair out causing Calvoni to fall to the stage floor. Calvoni suffered no injuries but he was deeply humiliated over the incident.

1. If Calvoni brings a tort action against Bland, Calvoni will probably recover on which of the following theories?

(A) Intentional infliction of emotional distress (B) Assault (C) Battery (D) No recovery

Torts multiple choice Question 2 is based on the following fact situation.

The eleventh grade class of Santa Clarita High School went to Jefferson Avionics on a class field trip. During lunch the school administrator provided the students some time to eat at the cafeteria located on the premises. Margarita, the class clown, decided to pull another prank. As Helen was attempting to sit down with a tray of food, Margarita pulled Helen's chair from beneath her. Helen fell to the floor.

2. Which tort is most applicable under these facts?

(A) Assault (B) Battery (C) Negligent infliction of emotional distress (D) Intentional infliction of emotional distress

Torts multiple choice Questions 3 - 5 are based on the following fact situation.

Exec and Associate were both white collar workers who were employed by firms located in downtown Centerville. Both Exec and Associate were late for work on Tuesday morning. As such, they each were traveling at an excessive rate of speed toward their respective places of business. Exec was traveling down Second Street, only seven blocks from his office, at a speed of forty-five miles per hour. The posted speed was thirty miles per hour. As Exec approached the intersection of Second Street and Gilbert Avenue, Associate also approached the same intersection. Associate was traveling north on Gilbert Avenue to get to work that morning. Associate was also speeding and witnesses estimated his speed to be somewhere between forty and fifty miles per hour. The posted speed on Gilbert Avenue was thirty miles per hour. The two cars collided at the intersection of Second and Gilbert. Associate's Buick Skylark hit Exec's Ford Escort causing Exec to swerve out of control into Jose's produce cart parked at the side of the road. Both Jose and his merchandise suffered extensive injuries. The jury found that the accident was caused due to the inattentiveness of both drivers with Exec 40% negligent and Associate 60% negligent.

Torts multiple choice Question 3

3. If the jurisdiction follows the doctrine of "pure" comparative negligence, and Associate suffered $10,000 in damages, what will Associate recover in a suit against Exec?

(A) $10,000 (B) $6,000 (C) $4,000 (D) Nothing

Torts multiple choice Question 4

4. If this jurisdiction follows the doctrine of "modified" comparative negligence, and Associate suffered $10,000 in damages, what will Associate recover in a suit against Exec?

(A) $10,000 (B) $6,000 (C) $4,000 (D) Nothing

Torts multiple choice Question 5

5. Assume for the purposes of this question that Jose has a claim for damages against both Exec and Associate and that he obtains a judgment for the full amount of his damages from Associate. Which theory will now allow Associate to pursue Exec in order to have Exec pay for part of the damages?

(A) Subrogation (B) Collateral sources rule (C) Contribution (D) Indemnity


1. (A) Intentional infliction of emotional distress, answer choice (A) is the best answer. Although it is correct that Bland has committed both a battery and the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress we must look to the degree or severity of the conduct. First of all, choice (D) is incorrect because (A) is correct. Answer choice (B) is not correct because Calvoni did not suffer from an imminent apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact. Answer choice (C) is correct to the extent that a harmful or offensive contact occurred, but answer (A) is the better answer as Bland's conduct was extreme and outrageous. Bland's conduct constitutes the intentional infliction of emotional distress because it occurred in front of interested voters who attended the candidate speeches and because it was extreme and outrageous.

2. (B) Battery is the most probable tort for which Helen may be able to assert in a suit for recovery against Margarita. Battery consists of the harmful and offensive touching of plaintiff's person. "Plaintiff's person" includes anything connected with plaintiff's body. The freedom from intentional and unpermitted contact extends not only to any part of the body but also to anything which is attached to the body or identified with the body. Thus, the pulling of Helen's chair, causing her to fall to the floor, constitutes a battery. Note that this fact pattern must be distinguished from the fact pattern which describes conduct which may be characterized as "extreme" and "outrageous." In these questions, the degree or severity of defendant's tortious conduct will determine whether plaintiff will most likely prevail under a theory of battery or under a theory of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

3. (C) Under the theory of "pure" comparative negligence a negligent plaintiff can still recover even where his negligence exceeds that of the defendant. "Pure" comparative negligence allows recovery no matter how great plaintiff's negligence. On the multistate examination an important area is the calculation of damages and the ability to do so under the appropriate system which the bar examiners give you. Under the facts presented in this question, you are told that the jurisdiction follows a system of "pure" comparative negligence. Thus, if Associate brings suit against Exec for $10,000 and the jury determines that Associate is 60% negligent, Associate would still be able to recover $10,000 minus the percentage of his negligence (60% of $10,000), or $4,000. Therefore, answer (C) is correct.

4. (D) Associate may recover nothing under these facts if the jurisdiction follows a "modified" comparative negligence system. Under a theory of "modified" comparative negligence the negligent plaintiff may recover so long as his negligence is not equal to or greater than that of the defendant. No recovery will be allowed if the plaintiff's negligence is equal to or greater than defendant's negligence. Under these facts, the jury found that Exec was 40% negligent and Associate was 60% negligent. Since Associate (the plaintiff here) was 60% negligent and Exec (the defendant here) was only 40% negligent, Associate may recover nothing. Answer (D) is correct.

5. (C) Contribution allows a defendant to claim recovery of damages against other jointly liable parties for excess damages when that defendant is required to pay more than his share of damages. Answer (C) is correct. Contribution apportions responsibility among those at fault. In a comparative negligence system, apportionment is in proportion to the relative fault of the defendants. Answer choice (A) is incorrect because one defendant is not being substituted for another and responsibility for the entire loss and all damages may not be placed upon Exec. Answer choice (B) is incorrect because this rule will not act to shift responsibility for damages from Associate to Exec. The collateral sources rule provides that a defendant tortfeasor may not benefit from the fact that plaintiff has received money from other sources. This rule does not help Associate. Finally, choice (D) is incorrect because indemnity involves shifting of the entire loss from one tortfeasor to another. Indemnity is not available under these facts where both Exec and Associate were negligent.

DISCLAIMER: These torts multiple choice questions are for use at your own risk.

Return to the Main Torts Multiple Choice Question Page For more practice torts multiple choice questions we recommend the Questions and Answer Series. Go to page two at the above link to order.


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