What are the elements/legalities of Negligent Infliction of Emotion Distress?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

Is it hard to prove?

Thanks for any help.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The negligent causing of emotional distress is not an independent tort but the tort of negligence, so the the traditional elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages apply.

    What type of situation is this, a direct victim or a bystander?

    The California Supreme Court has allowed plaintiffs to bring negligent infliction of emotional distress actions as “direct victims” in only three types of factual situations: the negligent mishandling of corpses (Christensen v. Superior Court (1991) 54 Cal.3d 868, 879) the negligent
    misdiagnosis of a disease that could potentially harm another (Molien v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1980) 27 Cal.3d 916, 923), and the negligent breach of a duty arising out of a preexisting relationship (Burgess v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.4th 1064, 1076).

    If as a bystander, the California Supreme Court held in Thing v. La Chusa (1989) 48 Cal.3d 644, 647:

    "In the absence of physical injury or impact to the plaintiff himself, damages for emotional distress should be recoverable only if the plaintiff: (1) is closely related to the injury victim, (2) is present at the scene of the injury-producing event at the time it occurs and is then aware that it is causing injury to the victim and, (3) as a result suffers emotional distress beyond that which would be anticipated in a disinterested witness.”

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . These can be difficult, depending on the facts. Hopefully you can document well the damages suffered. When you make this type of claim, you open up your entire psych history to discovery, including an exam by a defense psych.

  3. Sagi Shaked


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . To the answer the question is it hard to prove, will depend on the facts of each case.

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