What is a tort?

A tort is a civil wrong not based on contract law that results when a defendant engages in socially unreasonable conduct that harms another person. Generally, in tort claims the suing party (called the plaintiff) asks for monetary damages from the defendant (sometimes called the tortfeasor or person who committed the tort) to compensate him or her for the harm he or she has suffered. If you punch someone in the face, you have committed the tort of battery. If you drive your car recklessly and hit another vehicle, you have committed the tort of negligence. If you write false things on the Internet that harm another person’s reputation, you have committed the tort of defamation. If you take pictures of a person changing clothes in a restroom, you have committed the tort of invasion of privacy.