Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – 1 Million Dollar Settlement
In the recent New York case of Andrikopoulos v. Gach, the plaintiff was a twenty-four year old single woman who suffered burns to her face and body when she was a young girl. The resulting scarring required more than fifty surgeries. She was employed in her family’s diner where a radio disc jockey, Bolts, saw her. Bolts subsequently discussed Andrikopoulos with his radio disk jockey co-host Gach on their radio show, identifying the location of the diner. He also stated that he saw a woman working there who had burns on her face.
The two disc jockeys made inflammatory remarks about the waitress’s appearance, further commenting on how great it was for the restaurant to give someone who looks like that a job. People who knew the Plaintiff recognized that it was Andrikopoulos who the Defendant disc jockeys were ridiculing and advised her of the derogatory comments made by the disc jockeys.
Subsequently, the disc jockeys derogatory comments were uploaded onto the radio station’s website as a podcast which was later removed after numerous complaints.
Following the show Andrikopoulos suffered severe emotional distress making it extremely difficult for her to go out in public. She then sued the disc jockeys and the company that owned the radio station claiming the intentional infliction of severe emotional distress. The Defendants claim that their statements were protected by the first amendment and that any damages she suffered were due to choosing to listen to the broadcast months later. The case was ultimately settled for $ 1,000,000.00.