According to the book, the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress can be defined as an extreme and outrageous act, intentionally committed, that results in severe emotional distress to another. To be actionable (capable of serving as the ground for a lawsuit), the conduct must be so extreme and outrageous that it exceeds the bounds of decency accepted by society. Business Law Today, 10th Edition, pg. 99.
In the case of Kiwanuka v. Bakilana, Bakilana did cause emotional distress to Ms. Kiwanuka by threatening her with deportation, making her work twenty-four hours a day, grabbing her by the shirt collar, and taking her passport and papers which are extreme and outrageous acts and were intentionally committed.
According to the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 1589; 1590, Bakilana violated this act when she made Kiwanuka work twenty-four hours a day, yelled, screamed and threated Kiwanuka with deportation, which was enough to establish “condition of servitude”.
The Thirteenth Amendment states that it prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. See U.S. Constitution of the United States. In this case Kiwanuka had to work twenty-four hours a day and was not allowed to leave the house. She was kept isolated from other people therefore causing more emotional distress by not having contact with others. The FBI recorded Bakilana threatening Kiwanuka with deportation and yelling at her. This evidence helped Kiwanuka’s case and the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff.
I agree with Judge Lamberth on most of this case. He did rule for the plaintiff on emotional distress and this outrageous conduct of Ms. Bakilana. He granted her restitution of her wages. If I were the judge I would have awarded her more money and given Bakilana more than 2 years’ probation.
I don’t agree with the part that Mr. Rwehumbiza was cleared of liability. I believe he played a role in this case by not protecting the plaintiff from his wife’s extreme behavior. I believe he was guilty for not paying her decent wages and he should not have allowed his wife to take her papers and passport. He was the employer along with his wife and should be held responsible for the welfare of the plaintiff. He forced Ms. Kiwanuka into involuntary servitude and forced labor by threatening her of deportation. But according to, Hughes v. Moore, 214 Va. 27. 197 S.E.2d 214 (1973) “where conduct is merely negligent, not willful, wanton, or vindictive, and physical impact is lacking, there can be no recovery for emotional disturbance alone.” Mr. Rwehumbiza was negligent and dismissed from the case.