Dignatory Tort Law and Legal Definition

Dignitary torts mean a tort that injures another person’s reputation or honor. It is only in few jurisdictions that the court uses the term ‘dignatory tort. For instance, in Maine defamation is an example of dignatory tort.

In Vogt v. Churchill, 679 A.2d 522 (Me. 1996), the court observed that “In cases involving dignatory torts, such as defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress, evidence of a plaintiff's mental suffering is sufficient to support a substantial compensatory damage award.” Further, in Leone v. New Eng. Communs., 2002 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1361 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2002), the court held that “An action to redress racial discrimination may also be likened to an action for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Indeed the contours of the latter tort are still developing, and some courts suggest that under the logic of the common law development of a law of insult and indignity, racial discrimination might be treated as a dignatory tort.”