This Note reviews the Ruark decision and the cases decided in the wake of its expansive "foreseeability" test. It then analyzes the court's application of the factors established in Ruark to the facts of Gardner and questions the court's failure to establish more specific standards for determining foreseeability in negligent infliction of emotional distress cases. Next, this Note explores the possible effects of Gardner. This Note concludes that the Court should have set forth clearer standards to better guide the lower courts in deciding when a plaintiff has stated a proper claim and suggests how the "foreseeability" test could be limited to strike a balance between the extremes of compensating any person who suffers distress as a result of an injury to a family member and denying compensation to those who witness the injury or death of a close family member and as a result suffers severe emotional distress.
Alice McNeer, What the Supreme Court Giveth, the Supreme Court Taketh Away - Gardner v. Gardner, 16 Campbell L. Rev. 481 (1994).