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Suing for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress


Some accidents cause more than just bodily harm. That’s why, under certain circumstances, Florida law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation for emotional injuries. In fact, some victims might be able to sue under a legal theory called “negligent infliction of emotional distress.”

Recovering Emotional Distress Damages

The Florida Supreme Court has explained what plaintiffs must prove in order to recover emotional distress damages. The simplest way to prove emotional distress is with a physical impact that results in a physical injury, like a car accident. It’s not hard to prove that emotional trauma often accompanies physical trauma. However, a plaintiff may also demonstrate emotional distress by proving that he or she:

  • Suffered a physical injury that was caused by psychological trauma
  • Was at least somewhat involved in an incident that caused negligent injury to someone else, and
  • Has a close personal relationship to the injured person.

This situation often arises when family members witness accidents involving their loved ones.

Example of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

In May 2016, a boy had his face painted while visiting Legoland. Soon after the visit the boy complained that his face was itching and burning. Then his mom noticed a rash on her son’s face. She took him to the doctor, who prescribed medication.

Unfortunately, the medicine didn’t work. The rash continued to spread and his skin became discolored. Doctors still didn’t know the cause of his skin problems almost two years later. That’s when another doctor asked if there had been anything on the boy’s face when the rash developed. His mother then remembered the face paint.

The mother filed a lawsuit against the theme park, alleging that her son’s “skin had a negative reaction to the paint used on his face at Legoland that has caused him great pain and suffering, as well as two years of humiliation by other child and deep emotional distress.” They are seeking more than $15,000 in damages for Legoland’s alleged negligence and for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit claims the boy’s humiliation constitutes negligent infliction of emotional distress because Legoland personnel “knew or should have known that that emotional distress would likely follow if a young middle school child would have a permanent rash and nasty discoloration of his cheeks.”

Whether this rises to the level of negligent infliction of emotional distress or constitutes pain and suffering is for a court to decide. But an experienced attorney can help you determine the most effective claims for you to pursue so that you receive compensation for all of your injuries, including emotional distress.

Contact Us Today

Contact an Orlando personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if were injured by someone else’s negligence. We will examine the facts of your case and help recover the compensation that you deserve, including for any emotional distress that you suffered because of the incident.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.




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