Tag Archives: Steinhouse v Lesser

Emotional Distress Claim Disallowed in Business Dispute

In the absence of clear judicial guidelines, claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress would potentially become part and parcel of every civil litigation. There is little question that a business dispute can cause significant anxiety to the business people involved. However, what does it take for that anxiety to rise to the level of an actionable claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress?  In New York, the answer is “a great deal”.

A commercial litigation provided an opportunity for Justice Cynthia S. Kern of New York County Supreme Court to review the required elements of a such a claim. In Steinhouse v. Lesser, 112196/10, NYLJ 1202567349247, at *1 (Sup., NY, Decided July 30, 2012), plaintiffs commenced an action to compel the defendants, two of the limited partners of a partnership, to sign an operating agreement which would convert their limited partnership to a limited liability company. When the action was brought, eighty-eight of the ninety partners, representing 98.68% of the equity of the partnership, had already signed to the conversion. The defendants were the last holdouts.

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