Recently, the Court of Appeals of Indiana issued an opinion in a personal injury case discussing the availability of emotional distress damages. Ultimately, the court found in favor of the plaintiff, allowing him to pursue emotional distress damages based on the loss of his wife as well as for the serious injuries his son suffered.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in this case was a man who lost his wife in a tragic home explosion. His son was also seriously injured. According to the court’s opinion, Ceres, the defendant, refilled a propane tank at the plaintiff’s home. However, after filling the tank, Ceres failed to properly check the tank for leaks. The following morning, the plaintiff’s son turned a bedside lamp on, causing an explosion. The plaintiff’s son was able to escape the burning home through a basement window.
A few hours after the explosion, the plaintiff got off work and was driving home when he encountered a roadblock set up by a volunteer firefighter. The plaintiff could see his home was burning and obtained permission to proceed past the roadblock. He parked about 100 meters from his home and saw his son’s badly burned body on a gurney as he walked towards the home.