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Torts - Intimidation

Torts - Intentional Infliction of Mental Suffering

McIlvenna v. 1887401 Ontario Ltd. (Ont CA, 2015)

In this case the Court of Appeal set out the elements of the torts of intimidation and intentional infliction of mental suffering:
[23] The tort of intimidation consists of the following elements: (a) a threat; (b) an intent to injure; (c) some act taken or forgone by the plaintiff as a result of the threat; (d) as a result of which the plaintiff suffered damages: Score Television Network Ltd. v. Winner International Inc., 2007 ONCA 424 (CanLII), [2007] O.J. No. 2246, at para. 1; see also Central Canada Potash Co. v. Saskatchewan, 1978 CanLII 21 (SCC), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 42. Although the pleading of intimidation is most frequently seen in the context of economic torts, the business context is not an essential element of the tort.

.....

[29] As for the tort of intentional infliction of mental suffering, this cause of action is comprised of the following elements: (a) flagrant and outrageous conduct; (b) calculated to produce harm; (c) which results in visible and provable injury: Prinzo v. Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care (2002), 2002 CanLII 45005 (ON CA), 60 O.R. (3d) 474 (C.A), at para. 43.

[30] The tort of intentional infliction of mental suffering is not actionable without proof of actual harm. This is because the basis of liability for this tort is not rooted in the trespass action, but is a descendant of the action on the case. A plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered a recognized psychiatric illness to establish a cause of action: see A. Linden and B. Feldthusen, Canadian Tort Law, 9th ed. (Markham: LexisNexis, 2011), at p. 55. See also Frame v. Smith, 1987 CanLII 74 (SCC), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 99 at para. 46, referring to the need to establish “recognizable physical or psychopathological harm.”


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