The Illinois Supreme Court took the Turcois v Debruler case. We reported about the appellate decision here. This case involved a fascinating set of facts. The plaintiff rented an apartment by the defendant. The defendant, within 30 days of the plaintiff rented the property, began knocking the building down around the plaintiff and his family. The family and the defendant were obviously upset by the defendant’s conduct. The plaintiffs’ decedent then committed suicide. The details are reported in the case; I will not re-state them all here.
The appellate court had held that the plaintiff could pursue the cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress and could seek damages for the suicide. The appellate court cited the Restatement of Torts, which is frequently considered very authoritative, in its decision.
The Supreme Court disagreed with the appellate court and dismissed the counts concerning suicide. The Supreme Court reasoned that a plaintiff must get past two hurdles, cause in fact, and cause in law. Proximate cause, also known as cause in law, is limited by foreseeability, according to the Supreme Court.