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Can I sue for emotional abuse?

Lawrenceville, GA |

Growing up, my father was very emotionally abusive. This led to many health issues that have left me without a job and the ability to work now and for the past 2 years. Not only do I have outstanding medical bills, but he has stripped me of a quality life for the past 2 years. I am looking to get back on my feet now and am wondering if it is possible to sue him for all of this.

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Attorney answers 3


Although we lack detailed facts, such suits are rare (and hard to win), partly because Georgia law discourages them. While you certainly may wish to sit down with a lawyer if your case involved exceptional cruelty, nothing in your post tells me that there is a cause of action. Again, give a lawyer more details.

Here is how the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in TURNAGE v. KASPER (in 2010):
"  To prevail on her claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, Kasper was required to prove that the Appellants engaged in intentional or reckless conduct of an extreme and outrageous nature that caused her severe emotional distress.  This conduct must “be of such serious import as to naturally give rise to such intense feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, fright or extreme outrage as to cause severe emotional distress.”  Put another way, a case of intentional infliction of emotional distress is one where, generally speaking, “the recitation of the facts to an average member of the community would arouse his resentment against the actor, and lead him to exclaim, ‘Outrageous!’ ”

Another issue I can't address due to limited information in the post are you past the time deadline to pursue a claim.

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No. Or, more accurately, you can sue, but you'll lose.

Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer could be considered attorney advertising.


Anyone can file a lawsuit for anything. The real question isn't "can I sue", but "will I win if I sue". The answer, in your case, is that you likely would not be successful. This is only because civil suits for emotional abuse are difficult.

That being said, only you know what evidence you have to support your claim. If you think you have enough and want to pursue it, you would need to contact an attorney.

Though your complaint is against your father, this is NOT a family law issue. You need to contact a general litigation attorney.

I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

~ Kem Eyo

The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.

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