Negligent infliction of emotional distress is becoming an increasingly popular cause of action to be utilized against media defendants. This article begins by tracing the development of the tort and explaining its central elements through cases involving mass media defendants. It studies the relationship between negligent infliction and the torts of libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. After considering the appropriate balance between expression and emotional tranquility, it is concluded that negligent infliction actions present an ominous threat to the free flow of expression. Sound policy considerations, flowing in part from the first amendment, dictate that such actions be limited. Finally, appropriate limits are suggested.
Robert E. Drechsel
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: New Tort Problem for the Mass Media,
12 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol12/iss4/1