This chapter examines intentional torts and the marginal status that it currently occupies in contemporary tort law. It considers the slim protection tort law provides for two undertheorized claims that are relevant to women and racial minorities: claims for domestic violence and for workplace harassment. In particular, it discusses the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, a cause of action available to plaintiffs who to recover for “outrageous” conduct that results in severe emotional injury. It also explores several doctrinal and structural barriers to recovery for these harms—including lack of insurance coverage, procedural joinder rules, and preemption of tort claims—and how they steer domestic violence and harassment claims away from torts and into other areas of the law, such as family law and statutory civil rights law. It argues that this constricting of the domain of tort law often leads to lower and inadequate compensation of victims, among other negative consequences.
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