Slocum v. Food Fair Stores of Florida
Supreme Court of FL - 1958
- P was a customer at D's store. She asked an employee about the price of an item. He responded that she should find out the price the best way she could and that she smelled to him.
- P suffered from pre-existing heart problems and had a heart attack.
- P sued D for IIED.
- Trial court dismissed P's claim, said she failed to state a proper cause of action.
- FL Supreme Court affirmed, dismissed P's claim.
- Can an independent action be brought against a D for conduct that causes mere emotional distress ?
- An independent action cannot be brought against a D for conduct that causes mere emotional distress.
- The conduct complained of in the case is enough for emotional distress but not severe emotional distress.
- There is liability for conduct that exceeds all bounds which could be tolerated by society.
- The standard for measuring is an objective rather than subjective one. (ordinary person standard)
- Innkeepers and common carriers are sometimes held to a higher standard, but this does not apply in the case of customer/merchant.
- Mere insults do not create liability since the conduct must be extreme and outrageous.
- P's sensitivities do not come into play unless the D is aware of them.