Sister failed to inform me of my mother’s death.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Sister failed to inform me of my mother’s death.

My sister failed to inform me of my mothers death and she was cremated. I found out when trying to call her and looked up to verify her phone number to see it it was correct, and found an obituary for my mother. Since then, I have suffered headaches, nightmares, difficulty breathing, and nausea and obsessive thoughts. Can I sue for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Personal Injury, New York


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.
You are correct that you can sue your sister for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the psychologist or are declared by the psychologist to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Your damages (monetary compensation you  are seeking in your lawsuit) should include the following:
Compensation for your medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical (psychologist's) reports document your condition and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical (psychologist's) bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress is an extreme and outrageous act intended to cause and which does cause you emotional distress.  You can recover punitive damages which are a substantial amount to punish the intentional wrongful action of the defendant (your sister).
Negligent infliction of emotional distress is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm)
The lawsuit against your sister must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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