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NJ Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal Of Parents' Emotional Distress Claim.

September 2, 2009

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In Butterfield v. Lucas Electric, the appellate division affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claim for emotional distress arising out of her observing her 16 month old son falling into a 10 foot deep hole dug by the defendant. The boy was extricated from the hole 12 minutes later and was determined to have superficial abrasions and contusions only. The Court agreed that plaintiff had failed to prove " the death or serious physical injury of another" to establish a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. Further, plaintiff failed to prove a "reasonable fear of her owm immediate personal injury " to establish a claim for bystander emotional distress.

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