I SAW HER STANDING THERE
235
IV. Confusing Primary with Secondary Victims
In
Champion
, the Court reasoned that “[t]here are at least two
distinct
emo-
tional circumstances: one caused by fear for one’s own safety and one
caused by anxiety or stress for the injury or death of another.
52
Following
English caselaw, we might call the first category of victims
primary
victims,
so that the latter (whose injury is parasitic on the suffering of an injury by a
primary victim) may be characterized as
secondary
victims
.
53
This distinction is significant, because the more proximate in time and
space a potential claimant is to the negligent conduct, the more foreseeable
he or she is to the defendant
.
54
Society therefore favors fully compensating
the innocent primary victim for all injuries sustained — including emotional
harm.
By contrast, the further away from the original negligent conduct the
claim radiates, the more questionable compensation becomes. A second-
ary victim is, by definition, further removed from the defendant’s conduct
than the primary victim, and so should be less readily compensated. Yet,
despite the vast volume of cases that have reached the Florida Supreme
Court regarding NIED over the past 119 years, there has been surprisingly
little recognition of this fundamental distinction between primary and sec-
ondary victims. Thus, although the Court in
Champion
made it clear that
its holding was restricted to secondary victims, other cases have applied
similar reasoning to primary victims too
.
55
52
(emphasis added).
53
Alcock v. Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
,
.
54
Champion v. Gray
,
.
55 See e.g.
Brown v. Cadillac Motor Car Division
,
;
R.J. v.
Humana of Florida, Inc.
,
.
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