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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Cite this Entry

“Emotional distress.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/emotional%20distress. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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