Law Dictionary

emotional distress

noun emo·tion·al distress

legal Definition of emotional distress

: a highly unpleasant emotional reaction (as anguish, humiliation, or fury) which results from another's conduct and for which damages may be sought called also emotional harm, mental anguish, mental distress, mental disturbance, mental suffering; see also outrage, zone of danger
Note: Damages may be recoverable for emotional distress that is caused intentionally or negligently. Recovery for negligent infliction of emotional distress often requires that the plaintiff suffer a physical injury as well.

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