Star v. Rabello

97 Nev. 124, 625 P.2d 90 (1981)

 

RULE:

Generally, the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress are (1) extreme and outrageous conduct with either the intention of, or reckless disregard for, causing emotional distress, (2) the plaintiff's having suffered severe or extreme emotional distress and (3) actual or proximate causation. 

FACTS:

Respondent mother, Sandra Rabello (Rabello), sued the attacker, Sylvia Star (Star) and was awarded special, general, and punitive damages for assault and battery. The minor, who was a witness to the attack, was awarded damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The attacker appealed the award to the minor.

ISSUE:

Was assault of the kind the minor witnessed sufficient to warrant recovery by the witness to such an assault?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The Court held that, as a matter of law, an assault of the kind the minor witnessed was insufficient to warrant recovery by a witness to such an assault. Generally, the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress were (1) extreme and outrageous conduct with either the intention of, or reckless disregard for, causing emotional distress, (2) the plaintiff having suffered severe or extreme emotional distress and (3) actual or proximate causation. Recovery on the part of a third party witness to an outrageous act was permitted if that third party was a close relative of the person against whom the outrage was directed. In order for the minor to recover as a bystander, however, she must have witnessed acts that were not only outrageous but also unquestionably violent and shocking.

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