ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS REQUIREMENTS FOR CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Requirements for Claims of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Defendant Mortgage Lender obtained a judgment of foreclosure against Plaintiff homeowner, who had the right to possession of her home until the 3 month redemption period expired. Defendant contracted with outside companies to do property inspections and preservation services. Employees of one of these vendors attempted to verify occupancy of the residence before removing the lock to the back door and entering the home. Plaintiff was inside the house and confronted an employee, ordering him out of the house. The employee exited the house and then knocked on the front door. Plaintiff did not answer the door. Plaintiff filed suit alleging trespass, private nuisance, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.

In an opinion by Justice Freeman, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Appellate Court, holding that Plaintiff is a “direct victim” in terms of the case law, and therefore, cannot state a claim for negligent infliction of emotion distress without evidence of physical injury or impact. The conduct of vendor employees was not extreme or outrageous, and not sufficient for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Schweihs v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, No. 2016 IL 120041, (IL Supreme 2016)

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