Mental Anguish


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Mental Anguish

When connected with a physical injury, includes both the resultant mental sensation of pain and also the accompanying feelings of distress, fright, and anxiety. As an element of damages implies a relatively high degree of mental pain and distress; it is more than mere disappointment, anger, worry, resentment, or embarrassment, although it may include all of these, and it includes mental sensation of pain resulting from such painful emotions as grief, severe disappointment, indignation, wounded pride, shame, despair, and/or public humiliation. In other connections, and as a ground for Divorce or for compensable damages or an element of damages, it includes the mental suffering resulting from the excitation of the more poignant and painful emotions, such as grief, severe disappointment, indignation, wounded pride, shame, public humiliation, despair, etc.

mental anguish

n. mental suffering which includes fright, feelings of distress, anxiety, depression, grief and/or psychosomatic physical symptoms. It is distinguished from physical pain due to an injury, but it may be considered in awarding damages for physical injury due to a defendant's negligence or intentionally inflicting harm. Where there is no physical injury damages can still be awarded for mental anguish if it is reasonable to presume such would naturally flow from the incident. Examples: holding a pistol to one's head, any threat of bodily harm when it appears it could be carried out, swinging with a scythe even though the assailant missed, or witnessing injury or death to a loved one. There are also situations in which the obvious result of the alleged wrongdoing would be mental distress due to embarrassment or reputation through libel, and therefore damages can be awarded to the distressed party. However, there are limits: in general, breach of contract judgments cannot include damages for mental anguish due to the loss of a deal or employment. But then there is the case of the shop which failed to deliver the bridal gown in time for the wedding---mental anguish flows naturally (along with the bride's tears) from such a breach. (See: damages, mental suffering)

References in periodicals archive ?
The Bolu Civil Court of First Instance heard the case and rejected the complainant's demand to be compensated for his plastic surgery, but the court accepted that some portion of compensation be paid on the grounds of mental anguish.
As a Holocaust survivor, she not only recounts her happy prewar life and horrific experiences in a labor camp, but also oppression under the postwar Communist regime, emigration to Canada, and healing from addiction to prescription medication to deal with lingering mental anguish.
Indeed, the delay in the process simply adds to Mr Frisby's mental anguish and frustration and will do nothing to aid his recovery.
Surwat says self-harm can often result from domestic abuse as women feel no other outlet for their mental anguish than in inflicting physical pain on themselves.
Appellate courts in Florida, particularly the Third District, have held that a plaintiff who makes a claim for general mental anguish automatically opens the door to a request for psychotherapeutic records.
Because these acts were violations of the whistle-blower statutes, NYANG was ordered to pay the taxpayer damages in the amount of $70,000: $45,000 on account of her emotional distress or mental anguish and $25,000 for the injury to her professional reputation.
Accordingly, awards for emotional distress, mental anguish or loss of reputation (i.
The film made them the object of 'ridicule, humiliation, mental anguish and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community,' the papers stated.
Written from the perspective of one of the five main characters, Maggie's chapters are full of mental anguish and bizarre - sometimes difficult to follow - occurrences.
All you have to do is show that you are suffering physical pain or mental anguish to qualify.
If people are having any kind of physical or mental anguish with their game, they've got to give us a try.
104(a)(2), which only excludes from gross income non-punitive damages for personal physical injuries or sickness, is unconstitutional as applied to damages for emotional distress or mental anguish and injury to professional reputation because these damages were unrelated to lost wages or earnings, or for diminished earning capacity or otherwise in lieu of income.