At one time, a person could not recover mental distress unless there was a tort associated with the mental distress. However, there is now a separate tort for intentionally causing mental distress. This tort arises when a defendant purposely subjects a plaintiff to unnecessary emotional distress. Outrageous conduct must generally be present. For example, if a person bawls someone out in public with the intent to humiliate the person, this could possibly be the tort of intentional infliction of mental distress. Damages must be proven, however. A collection agency who uses harassing techniques to collect a debt could possibly be held liable for committing this tort.
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