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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Denise Jackson filed suit against Creditwatch Inc. and its chief executive officer, Harold E. “Skip” Quant, on June 17, 1996. Initially, she alleged numerous acts of sexual harassment in violation of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, but withdrew those claims when the defendants moved for summary judgment based on limitations. In her amended complaint, Jackson alleged only an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, still based on Quant’s alleged sexual advances and on retaliatory conduct allegedly continuing even after her termination on Jan. 3, 1995. The defendants continued to press their motion for summary judgment, asserting the sole remaining claim was barred by 1. preemption; 2. limitations; and 3. no evidence of outrageous conduct. The trial court granted the motion, and Jackson appealed. The court of appeals, with one justice dissenting, affirmed the summary judgment as to pre-termination conduct, holding Jackson’s affidavits described an “unpleasant and uncomfortable” workplace but not “the ring of hell” required to establish an intentional infliction claim. But the court of appeals reversed and remanded for trial her infliction claim based on post-termination conduct. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. First, assuming the court of appeals is correct that nothing in the TCHRA pre-empts other common-law causes of action, the tort involved here nevertheless has its own boundaries. Intentional infliction of emotional distress is a “gap-filler” tort never intended to supplant or duplicate existing statutory or common-law remedies. Hoffman-La Roche Inc. v. Zeltwanger, 144 S.W.3d 438 (Tex. 2004) Even if other remedies do not explicitly pre-empt the tort, their availability leaves no gap to fill. Here, Jackson’s complaints all stemmed from Quant’s alleged lewd advances, including the subsequent retaliation that often follows when offensive advances are refused. Jackson suggests no other reason for Quant’s actions. As her complaints are covered by other statutory remedies, she cannot assert them as intentional infliction claims just because those avenues may now be barred. Second, the Supreme Court disagrees with the court of appeals’ conclusion that some of the defendants’ post-termination actions were sufficiently outrageous to constitute intentional infliction. It is for the court to determine in the first instance whether conduct is extreme and outrageous, and such claims are submitted to a jury only when reasonable minds may differ. Even assuming the acts alleged here were independent of Jackson’s sexual harassment claims, they do not rise to the level necessary to establish the tort. The court of appeals recognized that intentional infliction claims do not extend to ordinary employment disputes but concluded that such disputes end upon termination. But some employment disputes are not so easily ended, the court states. As a result, while post-termination conduct may constitute intentional infliction if it goes “beyond all possible bounds of decency,” “ordinary” post-termination disputes are insufficient to support liability. Zeltwanger. Here, Jackson alleged that Quant refused to give her a reference letter, and other Creditwatch employees declined to take reference calls on her behalf during business hours. She also complains of a company-wide email stating a general policy forbidding employees to contact ex-employees. Even assuming all of these actions were the result of a vendetta directed at Jackson, the court holds this post-termination conduct is legally insufficient. Finally, the court of appeals reversed based on a post-termination eviction allegedly orchestrated by Creditwatch. Shortly before her termination, Jackson had moved out of corporate housing due to financial difficulties, and into the home of another Creditwatch manager, Terri Blevins, who provided shelter gratis. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Jackson, two months after the termination, Quant told Blevins to evict Jackson and implied that Blevins’ own job was in jeopardy if she did not. Blevins complied, and Jackson moved elsewhere the next day. “Assuming all this is true, it was callous, meddlesome, mean-spirited, officious, overbearing, and vindictive � but not”so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.’ Roommates � sadly, even family members � may find mutual living arrangements unsuitable, and juries generally need not decide which evictions are tortious absent conditions much more”intolerable’ than those involved here. Moreover, Texas law already recognizes claims for wrongful eviction and tortious interference with contract, neither of which allow mental anguish damages. Intentional infliction claims cannot be used”to circumvent the limitations placed on the recovery of mental anguish damages under more established tort doctrines.’ Accordingly, we hold Jackson may not assert such a claim here.” “If the tort is to remain viable where ‘gaps’ still remain, litigants and judges cannot entertain it as a catch-all that avoids the careful balancing behind alternate legal claims.” OPINION:Brister, J., delivered the court’s opinion.

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