July 19, 2019

Appellate Court Upholds Outrage Judgment

Over the course of four months, a property owner regularly and repeatedly remote-started his pickup truck, revved its engine, and activated its alarm to scare a neighbor's young piano students as they walked past his truck on the way to their lessons.  The neighbor sued for the tort of outrage, and the trial court awarded her a judgment of $40,000.  On appeal, the Washington Court of Appeals held that annoying conduct done frequently over an extended period of time with the intent to cause severe emotional distress to a person can form the basis of an outrage claim and ruled that the owner's conduct was sufficiently outrageous and extreme to support the judgment against him.