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Can someone explain to me about IIED, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress? As a tort, what standards apply?

Denver, CO |
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I have litigated quite a few of these claims and I have never lost one - but so far I have always been on the defense. Mr. Leroi is largely correct except that most of these cases do not get to a jury. The extreme allegations that have to be plead in order to survive a motion to dismiss ensures that most of these claims do not even get beyond the initial motions phase.

You are going to have to have significant evidence that you have a diagnosed mental illness or physical symptoms and that they were actually caused by activity that goes so far beyond what a reasonable person would expect in a civilized society that they are compelled to scream "Outrageous". A review of the case law outlining the types of claims that were not outrageous enough to get to trial will demonstrate how big a burden this is.

It may be worth your time to sit down and discuss your claim privately with an attorney, but you need to understand that you are going to have to have significant evidence to establish a truly shocking event in order to make out such a claim.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


This is an EXTREMELY hard action to prove in court and one that juries are not very sympathetic too in my experience. Normally, the conduct of the defendant must be "extreme and outrageous" and "shock the conscience" of members of the general public and be found to be patently offensive Then, you need to show economic damages - loss of employment, loss of potential employment, medical expenses, etc. You would need to pursue that through an attorney and no attorney would be wise to take such a case on a contingency basis instead of an hourly basis.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.


Leroi laid it out well


Emotional distress as we all use those words and the legal cause of action for emotional distress are two very different things. Intentional infliction of emotional distress, distinguished from negligent infliction of emotional distress, requires something the law describes as "outrage". Here's more: BLUE LINK BELOW

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.


Anytime you are dealing with intentional torts you are probably not dealing with an insurance carrier and even if you have an otherwise good claim and get a judgement, you may never be able to collect anything.

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