Civil liabilities may be imposed on a person who intentionally or recklessly uses abusive or insulting language that causes mental distress to another person. Although the claim for damages from abusive or insulting language falls under the more general claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, there are special rules that pertain to this cause of action.
Generally, the injured party would need to show the following to sue:
Maybe. Not all states recognize this claim as a separate cause of action. Some states require that this claim be accompanied by some other actionable wrongdoings, such as:
3. False Imprisonment; and
Moreover, each state may have statutes that specifically address civil liabilities from use of abusive or insulting language.
1. Verbal threats;
2. Humiliating statements;
3. Racial or sexual slurs; and
4. Scandalous statements.
Although there is not clear rule on this issue, it is most likely that both parties will not be able to sue each other when they both used abusive or insulting language.
Minor injuries to feelings are usually not enough to hold someone liable for damages. However, there is no universal rule that determines how abusive or insulting the language must be before one can sue. Most of the time, this issue will be determined in light of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. As a general rule, the court will often start by looking at whether the language will cause severe emotional distress to an ordinary person with ordinary sensibilities and reason.
Maybe. Different states have different requirements for proving severe emotional distress. Obviously, your case will be much stronger if you can show you have suffered physical illness/harm as a result of the emotional distress.
If you or a loved one have been injured by the intentional or negligent acts of another, you should speak to an attorney immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies. A personal injury lawyer will be able to explain the value of your case and help you navigate through the complicated legal process.
Last Modified: 02-20-2018 08:53 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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