Cindy Lourcey worked as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. While delivering…

Cindy Lourcey worked as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. While delivering mail by postal vehicle in Lebanon, Tennessee, Lourcey saw Charles Scarlett and his wife, Joanne Scarlett, in the middle of the street. Lourcey stopped her vehicle to provide assistance and spoke with Charles Scarlett, who said his wife was having a seizure. As Lourcey used her cell phone to call 911 to request help, Charles Scarlett pulled out a pistol and shot his wife in the head. He then turned and faced Lourcey, pointed the pistol at his head, and fatally shot himself. Lourcey sued the estate of Charles Scarlett in a Tennessee court on the theory that Scarlett’s conduct constituted intentional infliction of emotional distress. According to Lourcey’s complaint, Scarlett’s conduct caused Lourcey to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and emotional harm. Lourcey also alleged that the incident’s lingering effects left her unable to return to work and causedher to experience lost earning capacity. Arguing that the allegations in Lourcey’s complaint were insufficient to state a legal claim, Scarlett’s estate moved for dismissal. Were Loucey’s allegations sufficient to state a legal claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress?

 

 

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