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Pearsall v. Emhart Industries, Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
599 F. Supp. 207 (1984)


Pearsall (plaintiff) arrived home to find her house on fire. Her husband and two children had been in the house and were killed in the fire. Pearsall saw the bodies of her family outside of the house. Pearsall attempted to pick up her daughter, but the body was still too hot. Later, Pearsall went to the hospital and saw the bodies of her family carried out of the ambulance and into the hospital. Following the incident, Pearsall brought a products-liability suit against Emhart Industries, Incorporated (Emhart) (defendant), the manufacturer of the heat and smoke alarms that were installed in the Pearsall house at the time of the fire. Under her claim, Pearsall sought to recover for her emotional distress, among other things. The jury found in favor of Pearsall and awarded her $400,000 in damages for emotional distress. Emhart appealed, arguing that the issue of emotional distress should not have been submitted to the jury.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Katz, J.)

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