Doe V. Burd Case Study

Good Essays
In Pennsylvania, a plaintiff claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress must establish one of these four situations: “1) that the defendant had a contractual or fiduciary duty; 2) plaintiff suffered a physical impact; 3) plaintiff was in a “zone of danger” and at risk of an immediate physical injury; or 4) plaintiff had a contemporaneous perception of tortious injury to a close relative.” Doe v. Phila. Cmty. Health Alternatives AIDS Task Force, 754 A.2d 25, 27 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2000). The first element does not apply to our client because there was no fiduciary or contractual duty relationship. Secondly, it could be argued that Nordlund suffered a physical impact because after Sumner’s accident, Nordlund could not eat, could not sleep …show more content…
In Sinn v. Burd, a mother who saw her daughter get hit by a car did have a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress even though she was thirty-six feet away from the accident. 486 A.2d at 150. Nordlund was sitting on her front porch, which was seventy feet away from the accident. R. 4. Seventy feet is a similar distance to thirty-six feet, therefore making Melanie located near the scene of the accident. The court also held in Krysmalski by Krysmalski v. Tarasovich, a mother was located near the scene when she was standing inside a grocery store and her children were run over in the parking lot. 622 A.2d 298, 129 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1993). The children were waiting outside the store entrance, while their mother was situated in the check-outline facing the lot. Id. While there was no specific distance given and the children were no longer located inside the store, the Court found that the mother was located close enough to the scene to be able to satisfy this prong. Finally, in Mazzagatti v. Everingham by Everingham, the mother was located a mile away from where her daughter was hit and was able to recover. 516 A.2d 672, 674 (Pa. 1986). Therefore, even though Nordlund was seventy feet from the street, she was closer than the mother in Mazzagatti and she was facing the accident similarly to the mother in Krymalski R.4. These three cases prove that …show more content…
The first part is whether the shock resulted from the direct emotional impact upon the plaintiff from the sensory and contemporaneous observance of the accident. In Yandrich v. Radic, the Court held the father was not successful in his claim because he did not have any type of sensory and contemporaneous observance of the accident. 495 A.2d 243, 251 (Pa. 1981). The son was struck by a vehicle while on his bicycle. Id. at 245. The father did not witness the accident and he was not in the immediate vicinity of the accident. Id. at 245, 251. However, in Neff v. Lasso, a wife that heard a crash and ran to the street to find her husband lying dead on the front lawn was able to recover from negligent infliction of emotional distress. 555 A.2d. 1304, 1305 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1989). The wife did not see the accident, but was able to recover because before the accident occurred she saw her husband’s truck and the car speeding behind his truck. Id. When she heard the crash, she was able to put the sight she saw before the crash and the sound of the crash together to infer that her husband got into an accident. Id. at 1305. Once she reached the scene and saw her husband’s body on the ground, she was able to confirm her inference. Id. The difference between these two cases is the foreseeability and the sense of hearing. It is not necessary to see the accident occur to be able

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