Law School Case Brief
KOVR-TV, Inc. v. Superior Court - 31 Cal. App. 4th 1023, 37 Cal. Rptr. 2d 431 (1995)
The elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are: (1) Extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard of the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (3) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct.
Petitioners KOVR-TV, Inc., and Mark Saxenmeyer were sued in the underlying action after they had made a commercial TV news tape while they revealed details to minors about a neighbor's murder-suicide. The underlying action charged petitioners with infliction of emotional distress on the minors and their parents and invasion of privacy. After their summary judgment motion was denied by the trial court, petitioners sought a writ of mandate against respondent court to vacate its denial of their motion for summary judgment.
Did the trial court err in denying the motion for summary judgment and finding that there is a triable factual issue whether petitioners' conduct was extreme and outrageous?
The court denied the request, finding that the trial court properly found there was a triable factual issue whether petitioners' conduct was extreme and outrageous. No adults were home and the minors were too young to consent to an intrusion by strangers or to exercise any control. The videotape revealed an uninvited, intrusive encounter by adult strangers with children of tender years, not in a public place but in their home. Thus, the issue was one for the jury rather than summary judgment.
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