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Tort of Outrage Decision

Outrage Case Addressed

A December Alabama Supreme Court decision, Wilson v. University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, referencing authority citing the legal reference book Alabama Tort Law, which was written by our partner Michael L. Roberts, discussed arguments that civil liability for the “tort of outrage” was limited to three types of conduct: (1) wrongful conduct in the family burial context; (2) barbaric methods to coerce an insurance settlement; and (3) egregious sexual harassment. In this case, an elderly patient’s daughter sued, contending hospital employees acted in an outrageous manner with respect to her mother’s medical condition and her impending death. The hospital sought dismissal, arguing this conduct did not fall into one of those three categories, but the Supreme Court held that outrage claims can be viable outside the context of those three categories, reversing the trial court’s dismissal order.