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Definition of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Intentional infliction of emotional distress can rise to the level of a tort if the defendant acted in a reckless or intentional manner, their behavior was outrageous and extreme, and their conduct is the proximate cause of the plaintiff's emotion distress.

To prove a personal injury claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress you will have to prove four elements of your case: (1) the defendant must have acted intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant's conduct must have been extreme and outrageous; and (3) the conduct must have been the cause (4) of severe emotional distress.

Extreme and dangerous is not always clearly defined and may vary by state, but it generally meansthe conduct of the defendant was "so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."The courts have decided, however, the defendant's conduct must be "more than malicious and intentional, and liability does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, or petty oppressions."

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