Blue Chipper – Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

I have already written about one blue-chip case in the field of negligent infliction of emotional distress. This case is the second decision to advance the law in the field.

In Ramsey v. Beavers, 931 S.W.2d 527 (Tenn. 1996), the court reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed man who saw his mother hit by a car. The court allowed him to assert a claim of negligent infliction distress, saying that its “holding today abandons the hypertechnical approach of the zone of danger rule and recognizes that in certain circumstances a plaintiff whose physical safety is not endangered may nonetheless suffer compensable mental injury as a result of injuries to a closely related third person which plaintiff observes sensorily.”

This decision helped Tennessee start down the path of recognizing that pain in the mind and heart is as worthy of protection as a pain in the back. That journey continues.