Can I sue my landlord for emotional distress?
Question Details: I had a house fire after repairs were made for a gas leak from the furnace. In the fire I lost all of my belonging and kids and I have encountered emotional stress due to becoming homeless. Can I sue?
No, there is no claim for emotional distress when you lose belongings due to an accident or negligence (carelessness). You can only recover for emotional distress when: 1) the other side deliberately tried to cause you emotional harm, such as in a cyberbullying or stalking case; or 2) you were physical injured, and the distress accompanies the injury; or 3) you were near to someone badly harmed or killed, and were distressed by that. But the loss of property due to a fire, unless it was a deliberately set fire, would never support an emotional distress claim.
IF the landlord were at fault in causing the fire, you could sue for the value of your belongings and other costs you incurred due to the fire. Or if a repair person or contractor (e.g. whomever repaired the furnace/leak) were at fault, you could sue that person or business. But you have to able to prove fault: i.e. that the fire was due to negligence, or unreasonable carelessness.