Cause of Action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
COA2d ACTION GUIDE
PRIMA FACIE CASE
PERSONS ENTITLED TO RECOVER
By this ruling the supremes have nullified this major part of defamation law. If this case does not fall into the category of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress what does?
The reason for civil suits of this nature is to maintain order in society. Instead of duels to defend a person's honor there are now lawsuits to settle the matter. It's not about free speech, it's about keeping people from killing each other when offended by the other persons speech.
On the CBS evening news the father who brought the lawsuit expressed this point very well. He said if the government won't protect the grieving families then they will and the blood will be on the hands of the Supreme Court.
There is a legal defense called "Fighting words." If someone says something to you that is so offensive that you can't control your anger and you resort to violence. It's justified and is considered self defense.