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Portee v. Jaffee

Supreme Court of New Jersey
417 A.2d 521 (1980)



Portee’s (plaintiff’s) seven-year-old son was caught in an elevator door and dragged up to the third floor. Portee watched as police worked for several hours to free the boy, who was conscious and crying out. The boy died while still trapped in the elevator door. After her son’s death Portee became depressed and suicidal, and required counseling and psychotherapy, as well as physical therapy after she slashed her wrists. Portee brought a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress against Jaffee, the owner of the building where her son died, and the companies involved in the design and maintenance of the elevator (defendants). The trial court granted summary judgment for Jaffee and the other defendants, because Portee had not been subjected to any risk of physical harm as a result of the alleged negligence.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Pashman, J.)

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