Emotional Distress


Quiz:  Emotional Distress 

When a person or their loved one is injured, the pain damage it may cause may be more than physical.  Because of this, an injured party may also claim damages for emotional distress. The quiz below may help you determine how much you know about emotional distress, and learn from mistakes you made by looking at the right answers provided at the bottom.  

1.         “Emotional distress” is the same as:  ____ 

            a.         inordinate worry

            b.         mental anguish

            c.         loss of consortium

            d.         pain and suffering


2.         To prove emotional distress, the plaintiff must show:  ____ 

            a.         the defendant’s conduct caused the distress

            b.         the distress is more than fleeting

            c.         the distress is medically significant

            d.         all of the above


3.         Which of the following items is not considered emotional distress?  ____ 

            a.         headaches

            b.         dismay

            c.         fright

            d.         humiliation


4.         Damages for emotional distress can be awarded for:  ____ 

            a.         the plaintiff’s fear of contracting a terrible disease

            b.         mistreatment of a corpse

            c.         seeing your child being hit by a car

            d.         all of the above


5.         Emotional distress may be pursued as a separate and independent claim when:  ____ 

        a.        the judge says it’s okay

b.        the plaintiff was physically injured

c.            the defendant acted intentionally and outrageously

d.            none of the above


6.         Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when the defendant’s conduct:  ____ 

a.                   caused distress of substantial or enduring quality that no reasonable person should
be expected to endure

b.         exceeded all boundaries of conduct tolerated by decent society

c.         was especially calculated to cause and did cause mental distress

d.         all of the above


7.         To protect against frivolous and fraudulent claims, some states require the plaintiff to: ____

             a.         prove he or she was physically injured

            b.         present disinterested testimony from an objective witness

            c.         take the Fifth

            d.         produce psychiatric records


8.         A finding of liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress is legally supported by the fact that:   ____

             a.         the plaintiff had been treated for mental illness

            b.         the defendant knew of plaintiff’s peculiar susceptibility to emotional distress

            c.         the judge shook his head during the plaintiff’s testimony

            d.         (b) and (c)


9.         A person has a claim for emotional distress when he or she witnesses an accident involving:  ____

             a.         a good friend

            b.         a close relative

            c.         another pedestrian

            d.         (a) and (b)


10.       When a parent claims he or she suffered emotional distress when his or her child was injured, the parent must have been:   ____

             a.         a custodial parent

            b.         at the hospital when the child arrived in ambulance

            c.         an eyewitness to the accident

            d.         (a) or (b)


 11.       A judge can refuse to send a claim for emotional distress to the jury if:  ____

             a.         the plaintiff never sought counseling

            b.         the plaintiff doesn’t look like he or she is up to it

            c.         the judge doesn’t think that the defendant’s conduct was sufficiently outrageous

            d.         all of the above


12.       Which of the following is not an intentional infliction of emotional distress?  ____

             a.         having someone “flip the bird” at you

            b.         spectacular rudeness

            c.         having hot coffee spilled in your lap

            d.         all of the above


13.       Since the old cases are so much fun, try this one.  According to a judge in an article he wrote for the Harvard Law Review in 1936, why is it not an infliction of emotional distress to proposition a woman for illicit sex?  ____

             a.         women take pleasure in refusing

            b.         there’s no harm in asking

            c.         there’s no insult

            d.         the woman’s dignity is not compromised


14.       The “zone of danger” refers to:  ____

             a.         an imaginary boundary around the plaintiff during the accident

            b.         a 300-foot radius from a family member’s accident

            c.         within the arm-span of the defendant

            d.         being in the presence of the accident injuring a family member


15.       Finish this quotation from the treatise Prosser on Torts, “It is not difficult to discover in the earlier opinions a distinctly masculine astonishment that any woman would ever be so silly as to allow herself to be:  ____

             a.         “overwhelmed by sadness after a broken promise to marry”

            b.         “frightened by someone tapping on the window at night”

            c.         “convinced by her doctor that she was crazy”

            d.         “frightened or shocked into a miscarriage”



1.      B

2.      D

3.      A

4.      D

5.      C

6.      D

7.      A

8.      B — Option (c) is more of a mistake in judging, it is not “legal support.”

9.      B

10.  C

11.  C

12.  D — These items are just an unfortunate part of being out in public.

13.  B

14.  D

15.  D

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