SW Legal Educational Publishing

Spouse of Dismissed Employee Could Not Bring Tort Action Against Employer
Description Spouse of fired law firm associate sued law firm for numerous tort claims for injuries she suffered from the dismissal of her spouse. Court held that employer had no duty to her that had been breached, so she had no cause of action.
Topic Torts
Key Words Duty
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Bernard Zaleha was hired as a law firm associate in 1991 and was fired a year later for misconduct. Because of the misconduct, he could not receive unemployment compensation benefits and filed for bankruptcy. Bernard's wife, Karen, sued the law firm, alleging tort damages arising out of Bernard's termination, including civil conspiracy, negligence, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with an economic relationship, and loss of consortium. Trial court dismissed all claims and awarded defendant attorney fees. Karen appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "The defendants did not direct any of their conduct toward Karen. If she suffered injury, it was indirect injury based on her emotional reaction to the conduct of the defendants toward Bernard. We conclude that the connection between the defendants' conduct and any injury Karen suffered is too tenuous to impose a duty on the defendants."
Citation Zaleha v. Rosholt, Robertson & Tucker, Chtd., 1998 WL 102701 (Sup. Ct., Ida.)
953 P.2d 1363 (Sup. Ct., Idaho, 1998)

Back to the Torts Listing.

©1997  South-Western, All Rights Reserved