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Article   |    
Racism, Psychological Injury, and Compensatory Damages
Ezra E. H. Griffith; Elwin J. Griffith
Psychiatric Services 1986; doi:
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Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut

DePaul University College of Law in Chicago

1985 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have paid only modest attention to the idea that discriminatory conduct causes emotional suffering for those who are the object of it. However, courts have held that if such racist conduct is willful and outrageous and the ensuing suffening is severe, the plaintiff has a reasonable claim to compensatory damages. The authors trace these developments in the legal arena in both tort actions and complaints under civil rights statutes. They also point out how psychiatrists could be more influential in sharpening considerations about the idea that racism causes psychological injury.

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