Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – Law of Torts – Notes

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Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – It has three elements:

  • Extreme and outrageous conduct,
    Defendant must act intentionally or recklessly to cause the severe emotional distress, and
  • Reckless—Defendant must be aware and consciously disregard a substantial risk
    Risk—gross deviation from standard of care
    Doesn’t have to be aimed at specific person
  • Intentional—intent is not transferable has to harm the person aimed at
    Must cause such distress
    Don’t need professional evidence but do have to prove

Wilkinson v. Downton [2 Q.B. 57 (1897)] – Defendant played a practical joke on the plaintiff by telling her that her husband had been seriously injured in an accident and was lying in a ditch with broken bones. The plaintiff on hearing this suffered a violent shock to her nervous system resulting in weeks of suffering and incapacity.  The court held that a party may seek recovery for outrageous conduct that causes physical harm or mental distress.

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