Monday, November 14, 2011
MBE Fast Fact: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
There are a variety of aspects regarding intentional infliction of emotional distress that distinguishes that tort from other intentional torts. Many of these factors are very specific and, as such, often tested. First, it is the only intentional tort tested of which intent is not required as one of the elements. Recklessness will suffice. In addition, it is the only intentional tort to the person (in contrast to battery, assault, and false imprisonment) that requires a showing of actual damages. You should note that physical harm, however, is not required; severe emotional distress will satisfy the requirement of actual damages. Lastly, it allows one to recover if he/she is a bystander and witnesses physical harm being caused to another. To recover as a bystander, it must be proven that (A): the bystander was present when the injury occurred, (B): the bystander is a close relative of the injured person, and (C): that the defendant knew both A and B.