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State Rubbish Collectors Ass’n v. Siliznoff, 38 Cal.2d 330, 240 P.2d 282 (1952)
By Rick Soto, Editor

NAME AND CITATION

State Rubbish Collectors Association v. Siliznoff, 38 Cal.2d 330, 240 P.2d 282 (1952)

COURT

Supreme Court of California.

JUDICIAL HISTORY

Plaintiff, State Rubbish Collectors Association sued Siliznoff (Defendant), while defendant counterclaimed. Jury verdict for Siliznoff, $5,250 in damages awarded ($1,250 general, $4,000 special). Plaintiff appealed.

FACTS

Defendant, collected on Abramoffs Acme Brewing Company trash note. Plaintiff ordered defendant to pay on note, whereas defendant alleges plaintiff caused duress (coercion) and assault, rather than consideration. State Rubbish Collectors Association Inspector threatened defendant to attend board meeting--otherwise, defendant would face beating. Defendant attended meeting, agreeing to join membership, but was scared by the association president. Defendant testified, he became frightened suffering from the 'dispute with the association he became ill and vomited several times and had to remain away from work for a period of several days.'

ISSUE(S)

In State Rubbish Collectors Association v. Siliznoff:

Emotional / mental distress, and bodily injury threats.

HOLDING(S)

In State Rubbish Collectors Association v. Siliznoff:

Judgment affirmed. Invading emotional, as well as, mental tranquillity is anti-social, and tortious. There is no reason, such policy should be protected, nor conduct exist. 'Damages may be given for mental suffering naturally ensuing from the acts complained.' Juries decide outrageous mental distress, including the manufacturing of emotions. Plaintiff caused defendant extreme fright compelling him to give up account, which plaintiff had no right for such conduct; thus, liable.

REASONING

Restatement of Torts, section 48, rule recovery for insults. Section 306, and 312 recognized intentional mental distress in intensity could result in illness, or bodily harm. Emotional distress causing bodily harm without intention to cause bodily harm would still be liable for the harm (1934). 'Emotional and mental tranquillity' is protected by Restatement of Torts, section 46 adding without privilege (1947). Freedom from emotional distress is important.

DECISION

Traynor, Judge delivered opinion.

CONCURRING OPINION(S)

none.

DISSENTING OPINION(S)

none.




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