Under Florida Law, What is the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?

The tort of “intentional infliction of emotional distress” is recognized in Florida. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. McCarson, 467 So. 2d 277 (Fla. 1985). The boundaries of this tort, particularly when the claimant is a third party affected by conduct occurring between the defendant and another person, are not clearly defined. Id.; Williams v. City of Minneola, 575 So. 2d 683 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991); M. M. v. M. P. S., 556 So. 2d 1140 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989); Ford Motor Credit Co. v. Sheehan, 373 So. 2d 956 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979); RESTATEMENT (2d) OF TORTS, §46.

The issues to be decided on a claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress are: 

  1. whether the defendant engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct. "Extreme and outrageous" conduct is behavior, which, under the circumstances, goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.;

  2. whether the defendant acted with the intent to cause severe emotional distress or with reckless disregard of the high probability of causing severe emotional distress. Emotional distress is "severe" when it is of such intensity or duration that no ordinary person should be expected to endure it.; and, if so

  3. whether that extreme and outrageous conduct was a legal cause of severe emotional distress to the claimant.

Joel Ewusiak has represented parties in lawsuits involving allegations of intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Please contact Joel for legal assistance with your particular matter.