NIED stands for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. Generally, a NIED Claim stems from a plaintiff being involved in a particularly gruesome or distressing event caused by the negligence of another party. In Indiana, a plaintiff must be directly impacted by the event and suffer severe emotional trauma from the impact. These requirements fall under the Modified Impact Rule that Indiana courts follow.
However, there is an exception to the Modified Impact Rule called the Bystander Rule. Under the Bystander Rule, the plaintiff does not need to be physically impacted by the event. Therefore, a plaintiff can arrive at the event, witness something terrible, and recover through a NIED claim. Indiana courts will look at three factors to determine if a plaintiff can recover under the Bystander Rule:
1. The severity of the victim’s injury
2. The relationship of the plaintiff to the victim
3. The circumstances surrounding the plaintiff’s discovery of the victim’s injury
NIED Claims have come from car crashes, house fires, misdiagnosis, and many other distressing events. In Connecticut, a jury returned a verdict in favor of an employee for a $250,000 NIED claim based on the employer’s action when they terminated the employee. When the employee was injured at work, the employer swore and threatened the employee with a drug test if he could not do the job. In addition, the employer upset the employee’s wife over the phone and threatened to call the police if the employee left in his car. Ultimately, the Appellate Court of Connecticut found it reasonable to believe the employer had created an unreasonable risk of emotional distress.
If you or a loved one have been affected by a distressing event, contact an experienced attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.