230
MICHAEL J. LABBEE
The Opposition Calls
For the aforementioned reasons (and others besides), both practicing attor-
neys and members of the judiciary have called for an end to the impact rule
in Florida. Florida’s continued adherence to the rule fails to “validate the re-
ality of emotional and mental injury, and alleviate the uncertainty created
by a rule defined by its exceptions.
36
The desire to recognize the validity
of emotional injury is consistent with the original opinion in
International
,
which appreciated emotional injury as real, but yearned for legislative guid-
ance in the proper assessment of compensation for such claims
.
37
Opposition to the impact doctrine has included members of the highest
court in Florida. Indeed, there is hardly a more ardent critic of the rule than
the Honorable Barbara J. Pariente
.
38
In 2002, Justice Pariente’s concurring
opinion in
Gracey
explained her reasoning in calling for the impact rule’s
abolition. She emphasized not only the “outmoded skepticism for damages
resulting from mental injuries,” but also illustrated how the Court’s current
recognition of pure psychological injury in niche cases is inconsistent with
the initial fear in
International
of quantifying mental damages
.
39
She called
for a move towards a “traditional foreseeability analysis” in future NIED
cases — which would entrust the jury with adjudicating upon the claims. In
Fla. Dep’t. of Corrections v. Abril
, Justice Pariente wrote separately again
to advocate abandoning the impact doctrine. Her opinion focused on how
36 Julie H. Littky-Rubin,
So I Finally Understand the “Impact Rule” — But Why Does It
Still Exist?
.
37
International Ocean Telegraph Co. v. Saunders
,
.
38 See
Willis v. Gami Golden Glades, L.L.C.
,
;
Rowell v.
Holt
,
;
Gracey v. Eaker
,
;
Fla. Dep’t. of Corrections v. Abril
,
.
39
Gracey v. Eaker
,
.
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