Document Type



In Molien v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, the California Supreme Court recognized that the interest in freedom from negligent infliction of mental distress is a protectable interest, and that an accompanying physical injury need not exist in order to recover damages. The author presents a discussion of the history and policies behind the right to recover from negligently inflicted emotional distress. The author also discusses and analyzes the court's opinion in Molien and agrees with the court that the fears of opening the floodgate of litigation which before Molien precluded recovery, was arbitrary. Finally, the author concludes that the holding is part of a natural evolution in the area of negligently inflicted emotional distress, and discusses its probable impact.