Harris v Jones - emotional distress severe? (ii) Jones...

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CASE: Harris v. Jones Court: Court of Appeals of Maryland 380 A.2d 611 (Md. 1977) P72 (torts) MURPHY Facts a. Plaintiff/William R. Harris Defendant/Robert Jones b. Harris has a speech impediment and claims that he was ridiculed 30 times between March and August of 1975 by Harris while at work for GM. Harris sued Jones and GM. c. (1) C/A: intentional infliction of emotional distress (2) relief requested: (3) defenses raised: Procedural History: a. Lower court’s ruling(s): Trial court ruled in favor of Harris. Court of Special Appeals (Maryland) reversed. b. Damages awarded: Trial court $3,500 for compensatory and $15,000 for punitive damages. c. Appellant: Harris is appealing the reversal by the Court of Special Appeals. Issues: a. substantive issue (i) Is intentional infliction of emotional distress is a viable tort in Maryland? Was this a case where such a tort was committed? Were the defendant’s actions extreme and outrageous? Was the
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Unformatted text preview: emotional distress severe? (ii) Jones deliberately harassed Harris for his condition on multiple occasions. b. procedural issue: Did the lower court err in reversing judgments entered on jury for the plaintiff Disposition (judgment): Affirmed Holding: It is a viable tort based on the four elements of the Womack case. The defendants actions were intentional toward Plaintiff. However, they found no evidence that the distress was severe. Rule of Law or Legal Principle Applied: Womack v. Eldidge had four elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress. (4) The emotional distress must be severe. Reasoning: The plaintiff saw his physician once during the harassment by Jones and was given the same medication that he had been previously given. Plaintiff had prior difficulties with wifes family (social situations). Concurring/Dissenting Opinions: Additional Comments/Personal Impressions:...
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