Issue: Under Montana law, what level of distress is required for an action based on emotional distress?
Area of Law:
Personal Injury & Negligence
Emotional distress claim; Level of distress; Intentional or negligent act
896 P.2d 411
A claim for emotional distress can arise from a defendant’s intentional or negligent act. SeeSacco v. High Country Indep. Press, Inc., 271 Mont. 209, 238, 896 P.2d 411, 429 (1995). A cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress will arise under circumstances in which serious or severe emotional distress to the plaintiff was the reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligent act or omission. Id. at 232, 896 P.2d 411, 426. Moreover, a jury is capable of determining whether the emotional distress claimed to have been sustained is "serious" or "severe." Id. at 233, 896 P.2d 411, 426. A fortiori, a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress cannot require greater proof than this. Id. at 220, 896 P.2d at 417.
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