Infliction of Emotional Distress
Sometimes claims are presented by persons confronted with frightening circumstances that may result in ongoing mental anguish when they have not sustained a physical injury. Such claims may be disfavored in the law because of concern over the potential speculative nature of the allegations. But when frightening circumstances are due to an actor’s intentional conduct the law may allow an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim to proceed. In general, the claims require proof of extreme and outrageous reckless conduct leading to severe emotional distress proven by healthcare experts. When the actor is an employee issues may also be raised as to whether the employer has a role in the claim. In addition, when the frightening circumstances are due to an actor’s negligent or accidental conduct the law may allow a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim to proceed. In addition to proving the claim of negligence, a plaintiff must also provehe or she was in the “zone of danger” arising from the circumstances causing the person to reasonably fear for her or his own safety, leading to severe mental anguish and physical manifestations of that distress. These proofs present high hurdles our firm is experienced to litigate in motion practice and at trial.