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The tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) is a controversial legal theory and is not accepted in many U.S. jurisdictions. The underlying concept is that one has a legal duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing emotional distress to another individual. If one fails in this duty and unreasonably causes emotional distress to another person, that actor will be liable for monetary damages to the injured individual.
The tort is to be contrasted with intentional infliction of emotional distress in that there is no need to prove intent to inflict emotional distress. Here, an accidental infliction, if negligent, is sufficient to support a claim.
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