Monday, August 31, 2009

Bystander Claims by witnesses of accident, calamity, explosion, death

To recover as a bystander, a plaintiff must establish that she (1) was located near the scene of the accident, as contrasted with one who was a distance away from it; (2) suffered shock as a result of direct emotional impact upon the plaintiff from a sensory and contemporaneous observance of the accident, as contrasted with learning of the accident from others after its occurrence; and (3) was closely related to the primary victim of the accident. United Services Automobile Association v. Keith, 970 S.W.2d 540, 541-42 (Tex. 1998). SOURCE: Godfrey v. BP Products North America (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 25, 2009) (refinery blast explosion; siblings cannot recover under wrongful death act, no recovery as bystanders either as they did not witness the calamity, negligent infliction of emotional distress generally not actionable, IIED cause of action not available here)

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