Intentional infliction of emotional stress

Topics: Abuse, Intentional infliction of emotional distress, Psychology Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: April 21, 2015
Essential facts of this case:
In Watson v. Dixon, 130 N.C. App. 47, 51 (N.C. Ct. App. 1998), Employee, Dixon of Duke University harassed former employee, Watson in a manner of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. The court said this about Dixon’s behavior:

he frightened and humiliated her with cruel practical jokes, which escalated to obscene comments and behavior of a sexual nature, which then escalated to unwanted touching of her person, finally culminating in veiled threats to her personal safety; this behavior continued virtually unchecked for some seven or eight months; several of her coworkers testified that plaintiff appeared emotionally upset while at work; and plaintiff eventually suffered a nervous breakdown.

The conduct of Dixon caused mental distress and anguish of a very serious nature. Watson experienced bouts of crying, vomiting, and inability to sleep, until finally suffering a nervous breakdown. Watson is suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress under North Carolina law are as follows:

In order to make a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following: (1) that defendant engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct, (2) which was intended to cause and did cause (3) severe emotional distress. How were the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress applied to this case? The defendant intended and willfully inflicted emotional distress unto Watson with his appalling and persistent behavior and inappropriate touching.

His behavior consisted of crank telephone calls, rubbing his body against Watson, touching her breasts, confining Watson to a room against her will, drawing a picture of her body depicting it with a penis, making obscene comments about her, scaring Watson in an area where rapes had occurred, and making scary comments about her long drive home on dark roadways. This conduct occurred during a...
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