Cullison v. Medley

570 N.E.2d 27 (Ind. 1991)

 

RULE:

The definition of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress is that one who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress. It is the intent to harm one emotionally that constitutes the basis for the tort of an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

FACTS:

Plaintiff  filed a complaint against defendants, daughter, father, and three family members, alleging trespass, assault, harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and sought to recover damages for his emotional and psychological injury. Plaintiff testified that as a result of defendants' trespass and threatening him with a gun, he sought psychological counseling and therapy. He also testified that he had encountered the father in a restaurant where he continued to threaten and show plaintiff the gun. The trial court entered summary judgment against the plaintiff and the Court of Appeals (Indiana) affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.

ISSUE:

Was the evidence sufficient to show that there was trespass and that such trespass was the source of plaintiff's emotional trauma?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The complaint alleges trespass and the testimony supports such allegations. It will be for the jury to determine whether the trespass occurred and whether such intentional trespass foreseeably would provoke an emotional disturbance or trauma.

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