(1) the conduct must be extreme and outrageous;
(2) it must be intentional or reckless;
(3) it must cause emotional distress;
(4) that distress must be severe.
Hooten v. Penna. College of Optometry, 601 F.Supp. 1151, 1155 (E.D.Pa.1984); Restatement (Second) of Torts s. 46.
While Pennsylvania courts recognize a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, they have allowed recovery in only very egregious cases. See Papieves v. Kelly, 437 Pa. 373, 263 A.2d 118, (1970)(concealing child's death and withholding body from parents). But see D'Ambrosio v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., 494 Pa. 501, 431 A.2d 966 (1981)(insurance company's alleged bad faith failure to honor a claim does not rise to level of extreme or outrageous conduct); Forster v. Manchester, 410 Pa. 192, 189 A.2d 147 (1963) (not outrageous to follow an accident victim, conducting surveillance to determine the extent of the injury); Mullen v. Suchko, 279 Pa.Super. 499, 421 A.2d 310 (1980)(broken promise of financial support from lover not extreme and outrageous).
My next post will discuss some specific cases in Pennsylvania where intentional infliction of emotional distress was found and why such claims were denied in other cases. From this I think we will see why, in certain cases, claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress will apply to instances of "sexting" with egregious consequences. And we'll also get a feel, generally, for the types of circumstances that are likely to open up this type of legal claim. Share this post :