Legal Memo.

In Blair v. Tynes, 610 So.2d 956, 960 (La.Ct.App. 1st Cir.1992), it was held by the court that people who suffered psychological distress on account of the failure of the enforcement authorities, to uphold law and order, could claim damages for serious mental distress.

The tort of severe emotional distress, aims to provide recoverable damages for those who have undergone mental anguish, grief or fright due to the acts of another person. The factors necessary to establish this tort are ambiguous, which explains the divergent court decisions. As such, this tort attempts to ensure that the members of a civilized society are not exposed to behavior that is emotionally distressing and outrageous.

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To claim damages under La. C. C. art 2315.6, for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff has to prove that she had suffered a traumatic injury that resulted in mental distress. For the purposes of this tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the conduct should be so extreme and outrageous that all possible limits of decency are crossed. In addition, such conduct should be atrocious and absolutely intolerable in any civilized society.

In Donnie Norred and Wife, Shirley Norred and Arlen J. Guidry and Wife, Linda J. Guidry v. Radisson Hotel Corporation and Radisson Hotels International, Inc., 95 0748 (La.App. 1 Cir. 12/15/95). 665 So. 2d 753, a wife claimed damages against a hotel, where her husband had been robbed. Her claim was for emotional distress caused by the incident. The court held that she could not claim such damages, as she could not establish that she had undergone genuine and serious emotional distress. As such, she had not been present during the robbery.

In Estate of Rayo Lejeune v. Rayne Branch Hospital., 88-890 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2/10/89). 539 So. 2d 849, a wife claimed damages for the mental anguish caused to her, when she saw her comatose husband covered with rat bites in the hospital. S

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