The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress is committed when one engages in extreme and outrageous conduct that is intended to cause, and does in fact cause, severe mental anguish and distress in a victim. What constitutes "outrageous" conduct is determined by deciding whether a reasonable person of "ordinary sensibilities" would feel extreme distress under the circumstances.
If the perpetrator knows, however, that the victim is a highly sensitive person, the standard for determining outrageousness is lowered. In order to recover damages in this type of case, the plaintiff must show physical manifestations of distress or some other non-psychological damage (such as loss of wages).
For example, a man threatens that if you, a garbage collector, do not pay over part of your garbage collection proceeds to he and his henchmen, he will severely beat you. Since the man’s conduct is extreme and outrageous, and since he has intended to cause you distress (which he has succeeded in doing), he is liable for infliction of mental distress.
The intent for this tort is a bit broader than for others. There are three possible types of intentions that are actionable:
- the wrongdoer desires to cause you emotional distress;
- the wrongdoer knows with substantial certainty that you will suffer emotional distress; or
- the wrongdoer recklessly disregards the high probability that emotional distress will occur.
At Stevens - MacPhail, P.A., we strive to
obtain fair and just compensation for our clients' injuries. Using our
experience and the extensive resources available to us, we focus on
achieving the best possible recovery for our clients. In all matters
involving personal injury it is essential that measures be taken
promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question,
and to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the statute of
If you or a loved one has been injured, you can call Stevens - MacPhail, P.A. at (800) 897-8856 or (864) 598-9172 or e-mail us to schedule a meeting. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.