Monday, October 27, 2014
One interesting issue is whether a party can recover when they witness an accident and have emotional distress resulting from it. This was the issue last week in Entergy v. Ace decided by the Mississippi Supreme Court located here. The issue in the case concerned a bystander whose child had been shocked by an Entergy power line but was not at the scene of the accident when it happened. The mother claimed and apparently had expert testimony of emotional distress. The trial court denied summary judgment but the Mississippi Supreme Court granted interlocutory appeal. The Mississippi Supreme Court found that because the mother was not present when the accident happened and did not observe the accident, she could not recover as a matter of law. There is a strong dissent by Justice Lamar joined by three other justices noting that with the mother arriving so quickly after the accident, she should be able to recover. The language in the opinion appears to show that the matter was hotly debated among the justices with both the majority and the dissent taking shots at each other in the opinion.