by Andrew J. Petersen
In a recent Arizona Court of Appeals case involving the use of a canine to subdue a suspect, the Court discussed whether the intentional release of the canine was an intentional tort (battery) or was a consequence of a negligent act, i.e., a misperception of fact. The distinction was important because the court held the justification statutes for use of force by a law enforcement officer do not apply to a negligence claim but only to an intentional tort case such as battery. McDonald v. Napier (Division II, Arizona Court of Appeals, October 18, 2017). This decision raises a question of what exactly is an intentional tort and how is it different from negligence.
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