165 A.2d 485 (D.C. App. 1960)

An important case in the area of intentional torts where the court allowed a trespass claim to proceed against a nine-year-old boy by holding that the boy had the capability to form the intent to perform the tortious act, regardless of whether he intended to cause the injurious consequences that followed his actions.

The case involved trespass claim asserted by a swim club against one of its members, a nine-year-old boy.  Plaintiff alleged that, while swimming in the club’s pool, Defendant raised a metal cover over the pool’s drain and, under the mistaken belief that there was no suction, inserted a tennis ball into the drain pipe.  The ball was sucked down into the poll’s filtration system, which resulted in substantial damage.

The court held that the trespass claim could proceed against the boy as he was capable of forming the intent to do the physical act which released the harmful force.  The court emphasized that the requisite intent for trespass was the intent to complete the physical act constitution the invasion and not the intent to produce the injurious consequences.

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