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Intentional infliction of emotional distress

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Definition Edit

Intentional infliction of emotional distress is defined in Restatement (Second) of Torts §46(1) (1965) as:

One who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm.

Overview Edit

The elements of a claim are: (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant’s conduct must be extreme or outrageous; and (3) the conduct must be the cause (4) of extreme emotional distress.[1]

The conduct must go beyond all bounds of decency. The Restatement (Second) of Torts explains that the “extreme” and “outrageous” conduct cannot merely be insults.[2] Others must have the right to express unflattering opinions.[3]

References Edit

  1. See, e.g., Thomas v. Special Olympics Missouri, Inc., 31 S.W.3d 442, 446 (Mo. Ct. App. 2000) (full-text); Hailey v. California Physicians’ Serv., 158 Cal.App.4th 452, 473-74, 69 Cal.Rptr.3d 789 (2007) (full-text).
  2. Restatement (Second) of Torts §46 cmt. d (1965).
  3. Id.

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