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Hagan Brief - consumption The"impact rule" should...

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Hagan v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Issue : Does the impact rule preclude a claim for damages for emotional distress caused by the consumption of a foreign substance in a beverage product where the plaintiff suffers no accompanying physical injuries? Rule : Impact rule requires that before a plaintiff may recover damages for emotional distress, she must demonstrate that the emotional stress suffered flowed from injuries sustained in an impact. Impact rule does not apply to claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful birth, negligence claims involving stillbirth, and bad faith claims against an insurance carrier. Application : Hagan and Parker (the plaintiffs) should not be prevented from recovering damages for emotional distress caused by the consumption of a beverage containing a foreign substance because she suffered distress but did not suffer any additional physical injury at the time of
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Unformatted text preview: consumption. The "impact rule" should not be used to prevent relief under the circumstances of the case. Even with the impact rule, the court has several instance where the rule did not preclude an otherwise viable claim. While it is acknowledged that many states have abolished the "impact rule", several states including Florida, where the case is filed, still adhere to the rule. The purpose of the impact rule is a means for "assuring the validity of claims for emotional or psychic damages." Conclusion : The impact rule should not exclude a plaintiff that did not suffer physical injury. Also, the plaintiff need not prove the existence of a physical injury in order to recover damages for emotional injuries caused by the consumption of a contaminated food or beverage....
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