Dalhousie Law Journal


tort, psychiatric damage, liability, reform, compensation, Supreme Court of Canada


One of tort law's great failures is its treatment of claims for psychiatric damage (or, to use a misleading but more popular term, nervous shock'). While a great deal of progress has been made since the days when liability would lie only if a plaintiff also suffered physical injury', or at least reasonably feared for her personal safety3 , the law remains largely unsatisfactory and in need of reform. Illogical and arbitrary rules abound with the result that worthy claimants are often denied compensation. Recent attempts at clarification and rationalization by the House of Lords4 and the High Court of Australia5 have been at best partially successful. When next presented with an opportunity to settle the issues involved, the Supreme Court of Canada would do well to avail itself of Mullany & Handford's Tort Liability for Psychiatric Damage.

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