Appellee brought an action in tort to recover damages for mental anguish suffered when appellant had an autopsy performed upon the body of her deceased husband. Appellant had been requested to perform the postmortem by decedent's employer, who was authorized under the state workmen's compensation act to require an autopsy. The act also provided that no autopsy should be held without notice first being given to the widow or next of kin and an opportunity given to have a representative present to witness the same. The only effect under the act of a failure to give notice was to render inadmissible the evidence obtained by such autopsy. The requisite notice was found not to have been given. Appellant demurred to the complaint on the grounds that since no actual physical injury was involved there could be no recovery for mental suffering, and that there must be an allegation that the acts of appellant were willful and wanton and performed with the intention of injuring the appellee. Held, demurrer overruled; mental suffering and mental anguish need not necessarily be accompanied by physical injury where defendant's act was willful or wrongful, or was an unlawful act which resulted in the invasion of the legal rights of another. Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Burton, (Ind. App. 1938) 12 N. E. (2d) 360.
Michigan Law Review,
TORTS - RECOVERY FOR EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE UNACCOMPANIED BY PHYSICAL INJURY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol37/iss2/24