If you’ve been injured intentionally, it is important to understand the potential liabilities. Some of the possible intentional injury cases include:
If you suffer emotional distress due to another person’s intentional acts, you may file a claim for damages based on intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). Under California law, the claim must prove that the defendant’s outrageous conduct caused emotional distress and was done with reckless disregard for the effects on the victim (intentionally).
In California, emotional distress includes but is not limited to:
To recover damages under intentional infliction of distress, the plaintiff must prove that it was severe. In other words, it must have been substantial that it was not reasonably expected to bear it.
Intentional transmission of HIV is the deliberate infection that may be done through sexual intercourse or transfusions with infected blood. The infected person should be aware that they are infected – but do not disclose their status as positive for HIV.
Road rage is aggressive driving behavior that often involves driving aggressively toward another driver on the road, usually because of some perceived slight or inconvenience caused by another driver’s actions.
For example, one driver might try to run another driver off the road to cause an accident, a driver might try to force another driver into making an unsafe lane change, or a driver may try to hit another vehicle with his own car and cause damage. This type of behavior could result in intentional injury.
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. It can range from sexual touching to rape. Examples include rape, sodomy, fondling, incest, and forced penetration. Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Many victims say they have never reported their sexual assault to police because they feared retaliation – or felt ashamed and guilty about what had happened to them.
Injuries from sexual assault range from bruises to broken bones to death (aggravated sexual assault). It is not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to experience emotional trauma as well as physical pain.
Financial fraud can be committed by anyone who uses deception or false pretenses to steal money or property from another person. Examples include identity theft, telemarketing scams, and home repair scams. Victims of financial fraud may experience extreme financial loss as well as mental anguish and stress.
A person may be liable for the intentional infliction of emotional distress if they act intentionally or recklessly in a way that causes severe emotional distress to another.
Let’s look at some of the past cases:
In 1970, the California Supreme Court rendered its decision in Fletcher v. Western National Life Insurance Co., 10 Cal.App.3d 376, 376-377 (1970). The case involved a plaintiff who was injured at work and was denied disability benefits by his employer’s insurance carrier because his preexisting condition made him ineligible for benefits.
The plaintiff sued the insurance company and alleged several causes of action, including intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on this cause of action and awarded him damages to compensate for his emotional distress. The defendants contested that the plaintiff failed to prove facts leading to intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The plaintiff sought damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual harassment. The trial court held that the plaintiff’s allegations were sufficient to state a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the plaintiff. The California Supreme Court ruling held that a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress does not extend to mere insults or petty oppressions but must instead involve “outrageous behavior” that “exceeds all bounds tolerated in a civilized community.”
The court concluded that the inappropriate comments made by the defendant didn’t constitute an outrageous act. An intentional injury claim might be difficult to prove. As shown, you must demonstrate that your emotional distress was so severe and prolonged that it resulted in physical injury or illness.