American Road Service Co. v. Inmon – Case Brief Summary (Alabama)

In American Road Service Co. v. Inmon, 394 So. 2d 361 (Ala. 1981), Inmon, who had formerly been employed as a claims supervisor by American Road Service Company, sued his former employer, alleging that he had been mistreated during the events leading to his termination and that that mistreatment had constituted outrageous conduct; he argued that outrageous conduct should be recognized as a tort.

In Inmon, the Court recognized such a tort. It discussed the requirements of the tort, emphasizing the extreme nature of the defendant's conduct that would be sufficient to constitute the tort, and the severity of the emotional distress that would entitle a person to recover for that tort:

"The emotional distress caused by the defendant's conduct must be so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it. Any recovery must be reasonable and justified under the circumstances, liability ensuing only when the conduct is extreme. Comment, Restatement (Second) of Torts, at 78. By extreme we refer to conduct so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society. Cmt. d, Restatement, supra at 72." Id. at 365.