Thursday, June 21, 2007

Intentional Torts

To make a claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, the following elements must be met:

The tortfeasor must have acted intentionally or recklessly
The act must have been extreme and outrageous
The act must have caused emotional distress
and that distress must be severe.

In order to prove causation, there generally must be some physical manifestation of the distress. An example could be the development of a tic. Another example, could be nausea.

Nausea is what occurred to a woman at the Austin, Minnesota police department who opened a box containing a man's traffic ticket and dog feces. The man pled guilty to misdemeanor misconduct, while the woman became ill, missed two days of work with nausea and a headache, and was hospitalized for two days.

Since the man pleaded guilty, under the Federal Rules, his plea would be admissible in any subsequent civil suit. Specific intent in this case would not be necessary, as it's an IIED claim. I don't know if she'd be able to sue in person, since she was acting in her capacity with the police department when she suffered any injury, but if she were, all this hypothetically should be accurate. If not, I'm really in trouble next month for the bar.

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