emotional distress


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emotional distress

n. an increasingly popular basis for a claim of damages in lawsuits for injury due to the negligence or intentional acts of another. Originally damages for emotional distress were only awardable in conjunction with damages for actual physical harm. Recently courts in many states, including New York and California, have recognized a right to an award of money damages for emotional distress without physical injury or contact. In sexual harassment claims, emotional distress can be the major, or even only, harmful result. In most jurisdictions, emotional distress cannot be claimed for breach of contract or other business activity, but can be alleged in cases of libel and slander. Evidentiary problems include the fact that such distress is easily feigned or exaggerated, and professional testimony by a therapist or psychiatrist may be required to validate the existence and depth of the distress and place a dollar value upon it. (See: damages)

References in periodicals archive ?
Grisham and the Swansons on the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A party claiming entitlement to damages for an owner's intentional infliction of emotional distress must show the following established criteria: (1) owner engaged in conduct which exceeded all possible bounds of decency, (2) owner intended to cause distress or knew that his conduct would result in emotional distress, and (3) victim suffered severe emotional distress which (4) was caused by owner.
For example, Follette and Cummings[8] reported that psychological treatment of medical patients' emotional distress resulted in a decline in medical service use, that the decline was maintained after psychotherapeutic treatment was terminated, and that the decline produced savings that were not simply shifts to psychological costs.
The district court said the Washington Product Liability Act prevented Bylsma from suing for emotional distress damages if he hadn't actually eaten the contaminated food, but the 9th Circuit found that the law was vague and asked the Washington Supreme Court for guidance.
Researchers found that PITA patients experienced less emotional distress and fewer activity limitations in the first four weeks after surgery compared to electrocautery patients.
The Fund moved for summary judgment on Patrick's claim for emotional distress damages.
He has a history of some emotional distress,'' Burbank police Officer Brian Matthews said.
ISSUE: In this extraordinary Georgia case, the courts were confronted with the issue of whether or not the parents of a 10 & 1/2 week old fetus were entitled to damages for emotional distress after a hospital's emergency room nurse left the fetus in the patient's bloody clothing.
The settlement agreement allocated one third of the total payment to back pay, and the remainder to damages for emotional distress.
A recent Montana Supreme Court decision for the plaintiff offers hope for people who have suffered severe emotional distress.
Awards for nonphysical injuries are excludable only to the extent of amounts paid for medical care that are attributable to emotional distress.
Researchers have found that people who suffer from major depression frequently exhibit personality traits such as introversion, a clinging dependency on others, and neuroticism, which is characterized by chronic emotional distress and a tendency to give up or cope poorly in the face of stressful situations.