Case: GTE Southwest Inc.

v Bruce • Employees who have brought a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress ○ Ex. Abusive boss invites woman to his office and stares at her for 30 minutes • Elements of intentional tort ○ Intentional or reckless ○ Outcome extreme or outrageous • What attributes of boss's behavior is extreme or outrageous rather than just being a bad boss? ○ Behavior is repetitive ○ Is there a power imbalance? • Restatement §45 Intentional (or Reckless) Infliction of Emotional Disturbance (Restatement 3rd) • Some cases, emotional distress arises from legitimate conduct, so we need the definition of extreme or outrageous behavior. Court has to ward off against potential limitless liability. • Restatement • Plaintiff must show: ○ Def intended to act reckless or emotional behavior ○ Def acting, knowing that the conduct is substantially certain to cause emotional harm ○ Reckless - def knows, or should have known the risk of emotional disturbance, and fails to take precaution against doing so, when the cost of doing so is low • Prevent onslaught of claims ○ Issue - these claims has potential to infringe on free speech, and on other rights (right to divorce, etc) ○ Mere insult is not sufficient ○ Strangers on the street do not give rise to claim, must have some sort of relationship • Exception - use of a racial slur in an employer-employee context. Question if conduct is so outrageous to give rise to this type of claim. This gives rise to a jury question. • There may be circumstances arising where conduct is extreme or outrageous is religiously motivated, and how courts approach this issue.