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MARY LOU LAZOR AND JOSEPH E. LAZOR v. GEORGE MILNE (10/04/85)

filed: October 4, 1985.

MARY LOU LAZOR AND JOSEPH E. LAZOR, HER HUSBAND, APPELLANTS,
v.
GEORGE MILNE, KENNETH F. ANDREW, JAMES EARL FRANCE, DEAN H. BIER, CHARLES MORGAN, JOSEPH F. MASHIONE, THOMAS J. PALAMONE, EUGENE C. PUPILLI, JOHN MOZINA, AND ROBERT L. WALTERS



Appeal from the Order, November 26, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil, No. G.D. 84-15377.

COUNSEL

Daniel M. Berger, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

Bernard W. O'Keefe, Pittsburgh, for appellees.

Rowley, Olszewski and Del Sole, JJ.

Author: Del Sole

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 178]

The issue raised in this appeal is whether the trial court erred in sustaining Appellee's preliminary objections. The trial court concluded that Appellant's complaint failed to state a cause of action for intentional or negligent infliction

[ 346 Pa. Super. Page 179]

    of emotional distress. We affirm the order of the trial court and conclude that the preliminary objections were properly sustained.

When considering preliminary objections in nature of a demurrer, we must accept as true all well-pleaded material facts set forth in the complaint as well as all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom. Donnelly v. DeBourke, 421 A.2d 826, 280 Pa. Super. 486 (1980). Viewed in light of the above standard, the facts alleged in Appellants' complaint indicate the following: Appellants, Joseph and Mary Lou Lazor, officers and members of the Board of Directors of the Club, sent Mary Lou Lazor a letter which stated:

It has been brought to the attention of the Board that you have been harassing employees, bringing your own food in the Club, and conducting yourself in the presence of new members in a manner prejudicial to the Club's welfare. This is to advise you that unless this sort of conduct, which the Board considers to be injurious to the good order, welfare and character of the Club ceases, the Board will find it necessary to take disciplinary action.

The complaint avers that the allegations contained in this letter were false, and Appellees, who knew or should have known that the charges were false, refused to withdraw them or answer Appellant's questions concerning these claims. Because of Appellees' conduct Appellants have suffered, and may continue to suffer, severe emotional distress.

The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress is an actionable wrong for conduct which can be characterized as extremely outrageous. Jones v. Nissenbaum, Rudolph & Seidner, 244 Pa. Super. 377, 368 A.2d 770 (1976). It is for the court to determine, in the first instance, whether the defendant's conduct may reasonably be regarded as so extreme and outrageous so as to permit recovery. Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46, comment i. (1965).

Comment (d) of the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46 describes the type of conduct which meets the ...


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