The intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), also known as the tort of outrage, is a relatively new cause of action, first appearing in the legal academic literature during the 1930s. Since that time, IIED has gained widespread acceptance and is now recognized in all US jurisdictions, with most courts invoking the definition set forth in the Restatement (Second) of Torts. Despite this general acceptance of the tort, courts routinely assert that IIED is a disfavored cause of action. Courts appear wary of holding defendants liable for plaintiffs' emotional injuries and therefore seek to discourage such claims. To explain the conflicting IIED jurisprudence, this note traces the emergence and evolution of IIED in the American legal system. This note concludes with a corollary proposal to rename the reformulated tort "harassment" -- a name that clearly designates the proscribed conduct, gives notice to potential defendants, and clarifies the nature of the interest that the IIED tort protects.
Reformulating Outrage: A Critical Analysis of t
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