Siliznoff (D) owed State Rubbish Collectors Association (P) some money after P forced D to sign some notes in order to remain in business.
P threatened to "beat up" D and destroy his trucks and business if D did not sign the notes.
D claimed to only sign the notes in order to leave the meeting unharmed. P sued D to collect on the notes. D countersued P since the incident made him ill and unable to work for several days.
Trial court found for D.
CA Supreme Court affirmed, found for D.
Is a party liable for bodily harm resulting from severe emotional distress inflicted upon another party?
A party is liable for bodily harm resulting from severe emotional distress inflicted upon another party.
People have the right to be free from negligent interference with physical well-being.
There is also a right to be free from serious, intentional invasion of one's mental and emotional tranquility. This cause of action should be established and damages for mental suffering coming from these acts should be granted.
This could open up the court for frivolous claims since there may be an absence of physical injury. ; the jury is in a good position to determine whether damages should be allowed in the absence of physical injury.
In this case, P caused D extreme fright which resulted in physical injury. They are liable.
IIED - D is liable for extreme and outrageous conduct which causes P severe emotional distress.
Future threats fall into this basket and not assault since they are not imminent.