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Emotional Distress Independent Cause of Action Cases

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Emotional Distress Independent Cause of Action and the related topic of personal injury. For more information on emotional distress see the pages on Wikipedia. 

Emotional Distress Independent Cause Of Action-Cases

1997 Fairfax Hospital v. Curtis, 254 Va. 437, 492 S.E.2d 642.

Emotional distress independent cause of action: plaintiff sued hospital for improper release of medical records. Emotional distress damages are properly recoverable here since there is cause of action which existed independently of the emotional harm. Without question, patient whose intimate personal medical information is wrongfully distributed will experience some degree of humiliation, embarrassment and hurt. Emotional stress damages are allowable.

1995 Johnson v. Marcel, 251 Va. 58, 465 S.E.2d 815.

Marcel entered plaintiff’s premises without consent, changed locks on the garage, ripped telephone out of wall socket, blocked driveway and continually threatened, abused, intimidated and harassed plaintiff. Common law claim for trespass is set forth. Where trespass is deliberate and accompanied by aggravating circumstances, damages for emotional distress may be recoverable in absence of physical injury.

1994 Carstensen v. Chrisland Corp., 247 Va. 433, 442 S.E.2d 660.

Plaintiffs allege that as a result of defendant’s breach of fiduciary duty they suffered harassment, inconvenience, humiliation and other such emotional distress. Criteria for sustaining cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress are not same as those applied to recovery of emotional distress damages flowing from independent tort. General rule is that in absence of physical harm or wanton and willful conduct, emotional distress damages are not recoverable. Facts in this case do not allege physical injury and do not constitute willful, wanton or vindictive conduct.

1982 Sea LandServ. v. O’Neal, 224 Va. 343, 297 S.E.2d 647.

Emotional distress independent cause of action.Damages for distress, although unaccompanied by actual physical injury, are recoverable where cause of action exists independently of such harm. Cause of action that existed independently in this case was fraud. Other cases cited.

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Emotional Distress Independent Cause of Action Cases

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