Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Intentional Infliction of Nervous Shock Definition:

A wilfully false statement that comes to and causes mental anguish to another.

Related Terms: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

At ¶54 of her judgment in Dechant v Law Society, Justice Horner wrote of the "elements of the tort of intentional infliction of nervous shock" as follows:

"In order to establish the tort, a plaintiff must establish that there was: (i) a deliberate, wilful misstatement of fact, (ii) which was intended to or could be foreseen by the reasonable man as being likely to cause mental anguish and physical pain, and (iii) would be carried to that plaintiff as a natural and probable consequence.

"In other words, it must be shown that the defendant’s false statement would directly come to, and thereby physically affect the plaintiff.

"The law is not fully settled in Canada with respect to what specific acts or courses of conduct and what types of harm can establish the tort. The same is true of the tort of harassment. In fact, it may well be that the tort of harassment is the same as, or a variation of, the tort of intentional infliction of nervous shock."


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