Lisa Pruitt, ‘Commentary on Boyles v Kerr (Texas 1993) for Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Torts Opinions’

This paper comments on Professor Cristina Tilley’s rewritten feminist opinion in Boyles v Kerr (Texas 1993). The Texas Supreme Court in Boyles v Kerr rigidly refused to extend the state’s negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) precedents to permit recovery when the plaintiff was a young woman (Susan Kerr) whose emotional distress was the consequence of her lover (Dan Boyles, Jr), in collaboration with three friends, surreptitiously videotaping the pair having sex and then sharing the video with his fraternity brothers at the University of Texas. But Justice Tilly’s feminist rewrite in the case makes clear that the salient doctrines were and are more than capacious enough to have permitted Kerr’s NIED recovery. In fact, the myriad opinions in Boyles, as well as their extensive discussion of NIED’s history and precedents, reveal a highly malleable claim, the evolution of which reveals clearly gendered themes and trends.

Pruitt, Lisa R, Commentary on Boyles v Kerr (Texas 1993) for Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Torts Opinions (2020). Working Paper/Commentary on Cristina Carmody Tilley’s Rewritten Opinion in Boyles v Kerr (forthcoming in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Torts Opinions, Cambridge University Press 2020), UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper forthcoming.

First posted 2021-06-23 10:00:00

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