ANSWER: US Tort Filings


You will probably need access to a legal database such as Lexis Nexis Academic, Hein Online, or Westlaw. Many large public university libraries offer onsite access. There are public library versions of Lexis that might be accessible remotely to library card holders, but they will likely have far less coverage. As just a few examples of possible searches in Lexis/Legal/Law Reviews, the search: negligent and infliction and "emotional stress" and torts gets 118 hits; "negligent infliction" and "emotional stress" and torts gets 68; "negligent infliction" w/10 "emotional stress" gets only 2 (where the phrases are no more than 10 words apart). The W/nn means either one can come first in the text: "negligent infliction" w/50 "emotional stress" gets 5 hits, "negligent infliction" pre/50 "emotional stress" gets only 4, where the first phrase comes first. If you want to narrow to a particular state, you can try searches like: "negligent infliction" and "emotional stress" and illinois, but bear in mind that those huge Law Review articles can mention a place or name in one of maybe hundreds of cited references. You might prefer to first limit the search by the type of tort (in this case maybe "war crimes" or "atrocities"); see if any law reviews talk about any similar cases. If so, you might even do a new search combining the case citation (or parts of it) with the state or region search. For example the case citation: PERVIS TYRONE PAYNE, PETITIONER v. TENNESSEE might be searched as: payne pre/3 tennessee.

But even though these commercial and very expensive legal databases have powerful and precise search engines, you are not totally out of luck if you don't have access. gets 100 hits for the search: "negligent infliction" "emotional distress". Many of them are state websites in addition to US federal sources. It also can't hurt to search the Illinois legal websites such as their Public Acts Search, which gets 1 hit for the search: negligent infliction and 10 hits for: emotional distress.

Search the Illinois Compiled Statutes gets 30 hits for: emotional distress, but none for: negligent infliction. The search: negligence tort gets 12 hits. Their version of Google search does not allow truncation: negligen* tort gets zero hits, so you have to think of different spellings and endings. As in nearly all other databases (at least ones we can afford!) it is essential to think of synonyms, related issues, etc.

Jim Miller
[email protected]

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