Can a neighbor be sued for IIED for unintentionally shooting a bullet through my brother’s house?

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Can a neighbor be sued for IIED for unintentionally shooting a bullet through my brother’s house?

My brother and his wife returned home a few days ago to find that a bullet had went through a window pane and wall of their new home. A person has a shooting range within a half mile of their home. The sheriff came to investigate and gathered the bullet. The sheriff went to the neighbor’s home and the bullet matched one of the guns’ size. No legal action against this individual has been taken criminally or civilly. Since there is damage to the home, and my brother’s wife is now in constant distress, does this incident warrant an action for IIED or another tort? Can an injunction or something be filed to prevent this from happening again? Since the bullet is in police custody, can it not be used to match the barrel striations of the gun?

Asked on July 30, 2018 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue for IIED, or intentional infliction of emotional harm, for "unintentionally shooting a bullet through" a home; the other party would lack the required intent to be liable for intentional infliction of emotional harm.
Any property damage/repair costs can be sued for: anyone who negligently or carelessly damages property is liable for the damage he does.
If shooting in this area (a half mile of their home) is inappropriate given the character, density, use, etc. of the neighborhood (e.g. shooting in most suburban areas other than at a properly constructed and licensed gun range would be inappropriate), your brother and his wife can bring a suit for "nuisance" and seek in that matter an injunction to bar reptition of this incident.
And if shooting or having a gun range there violates any local ordinances, your brother can also complain to the appropriate agency to have fines or summons issued.


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