Canan adultsue for pain and suffering from allegedly being denied access to an ill parent?

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Canan adultsue for pain and suffering from allegedly being denied access to an ill parent?

My parents died this year. My mother was sick for over 30 years and I gave up my life to take care of her and they were barely even over. So, in their living trust, they left me all of their assets except for a tiny bit that they set aside for my brothers. Since my brothers found out that they cannot fight the living Will, they are planning on suing me for “pain and suffering” because I supposedly “denied them access to their father” for the past year of his life while he was sick. My family was always there and I let them in, despite their harassment of us. Is there any probable way they could win?

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Personal Injury, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, the tort of intentional infliction of emotional harm usually involves outrageous conduct--and often with a physically damaging component as well--which would go far beyond restricting access to an aged, ill parent, even assuming that such had been done, as long as there was some valid reason at all for such restricted access. (e.g. too much of a strain on said parent) It really is very hard and rare to successfully make out this claim. Second, even if they could make out the claim, they'd then have to show facts supporting their claim--i.e. there'd need to be evidence of them trying to gain access and you denying or thwarting it (including that you had the power to actually deny or thwart it). In short, there is *very* little likelihood of successful claim for this being made out. That said, all lawsuits need to be taken seriously: if sued, don't ignore, but retain a lawyer and let the lawyer get rid of or defend the suit--and also countersue on your behalf, if appropriate.


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