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Ask David C. Garner Your Own Question
David C. Garner
David C. Garner, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1041
Experience:  JD with Distinction, Admitted to practice in California
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I am a CEO of a small business in Atlanta, we leased a

Customer Question

I am a CEO of a small business in Atlanta , we leased a building in 2010 , in 2013 we noticed water damage and notify the owners of the building , no repair was conducted , we emailed and verbally told the owners for the next 18 months, Their conduct was so bad that tried to paint over the water damaged area right in front of our eyes. In June 2014 the owners told me that it is black mold in the building , that directly exposure me and my workers. I was stressed now having to find to new location and having to secure a loan for our new location, I am responsible for a loan for $138, 000.00 plus $20,000 for deposit. Since this incident I have not sleep, my mood has changed, and problems with my blood pressure. Do I have a case under emotional distress?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 1 year ago.


I will try and help. You won't like this answer, but I'm doing my best.

The short answer is no. There are two theories for infliction of emotional distress - intentional and negligent. There is no evidence this was intentional. Therefore we will look at negligent infliction of emotional distress. The underlying concept is that one has a legal obligation to use reasonable care to avoid causing emotional suffering or distress to another individual.

To establish this claim, you would (generally) have to prove all of the following:

1. That your landlord was negligent;

2. That you suffered serious emotional distress; and

3. That your landlord’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing you serious emotional distress.

Emotional distress includes suffering, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation, and shame. Serious emotional distress exists if an ordinary, reasonable person would be unable to cope with it.

You are going to likely have a difficult time as a CEO convincing a jury that you suffered such emotional distress so severe you were unable to cope with it. You would need to show, at minimum, that you had received extensive psychological care as a result. This kind of thing is usually reserved for situations where loved ones see others killed in front of them (a mother witnesses a child killed by a drunk driver in a crosswalk). Serious emotional distress is more than a lot of emotional distress. Plus, you would have to show that they should have forseen your suffering by not fixing a water leak/mold.

You can check it out more here:

I know this is not what you want to hear, but that is the law as I see it and, against that backdrop, you have no claim.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you.