WPI14.03.01Outrage—Burden of Proof
6 WAPRAC WPI 14.03.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 14.03.01 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
July 2019 Update
Part II. Negligence—Risk—Misconduct—Proximate Cause
Chapter 14. Willful and Wanton Misconduct and Tort of Outrage
WPI 14.03.01 Outrage—Burden of Proof
On plaintiff's outrage claim, the plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following propositions:
(1) That the defendant engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct;
(2) That the defendant's conduct caused severe emotional distress to the plaintiff;
(3) That the defendant intentionally or recklessly caused the emotional distress; and
(4) That the plaintiff [was a direct recipient of the extreme and outrageous conduct] [or] [was an immediate family member of a direct recipient of the conduct and was present at the time the conduct occurred].
If you find from your consideration of all the evidence that each of these propositions has been proved, your verdict should be for the plaintiff on the outrage claim. On the other hand, if you find that any of these propositions has not been proved, your verdict should be for the defendant on this claim.
NOTE ON USE
Use this instruction with WPI 14.03 (Tort of Outrage), WPI 14.03.02 (Outrage—Extreme and Outrageous Conduct—Definition), WPI 14.03.03 (Outrage—Recklessly or Intentionally Causes Emotional Distress—Definition), and WPI 14.03.04 (Outrage—Severe Emotional Distress—Definition).
Use the bracketed language as appropriate.
The tort of outrage requires the proof of three elements: (1) extreme and outrageous conduct, (2) intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, and (3) actual result to plaintiff of severe emotional distress. Kloepfel v. Bokor, 149 Wn.2d 192, 195, 66 P.3d 630 (2003); Robel v. Roundup Corp., 148 Wn.2d 35, 64, 59 P.3d 611 (2002); Reid v. Pierce County, 136 Wn.2d 195, 202, 961 P.2d 333 (1998) (citing Dicomes v. State, 113 Wn.2d 612, 630, 782 P.2d 1002 (1989)); Kirby v. City of Tacoma, 124 Wn.App. 454, 473, 98 P.3d 827 (2004). This instruction sets forth those three required elements in burden of proof form.
This test from Washington's case law generally parallels the elements stated in Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46(1965), except for one word in the pattern instruction's third element (intentionally or recklessly causing emotional distress). The Restatement (Second) requires that the defendant intentionally or recklessly caused severe emotional distress, see Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46 comment i, whereas Washington's case law, without discussion, has removed the word “severe” from this element. See Kloepfel v. Bokor, 149 Wn.2d 192, 196, 66 P.3d 630 (2003); Robel v. Roundup Corp., 148 Wn.2d 35, 64, 59 P.3d 611 (2002); Reid v. Pierce County, 136 Wn.2d 195, 202, 961 P.2d 333 (1998) (citing Dicomes v. State, 113 Wn.2d 612, 630, 782 P.2d 1002 (1989)); Kirby v. City of Tacoma, 124 Wn.App. 454, 473, 98 P.3d 827 (2004). Accordingly, pursuant to Washington law, the word “severe” is included in the pattern instruction's second element, but not in the third.
For a more detailed discussion of each of the three enumerated elements in the instructions, see the Comments to the following definitional instructions: WPI 14.03.02 (Outrage—Extreme and Outrageous Conduct—Definition), WPI 14.03.03 (Outrage—Intentionally or Recklessly Causes Emotional Distress—Definition), and WPI 14.03.04 (Outrage—Severe Emotional Distress—Definition).
The law governing the fourth element is discussed in the Comment to WPI 14.03 (Tort of Outrage).
[Current as of September 2018.]
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