Roberts v. Delmarva Power & Light Co., 2009 WL 222985 (Del.Super.).
This case involves a small plane which struck unlit utility poles near the Delaware Airpark. The pilot died approximately two hours after the crash due to injuries. The other passenger, his daughter, survived though she sustained severe physical injuries. She also claimed to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At issue in one of the multiple motions for summary judgment was whether the general common law regarding the necessity to show physical injury to recover for mental anguish in a tort claim applied when the claim arises out of a statutory wrongful death claim. The Superior Court held that Mergenthaler v. Asbestos Corp. of America, 480 A.2d 647 (Del. 1984) controls, and that plaintiffs must present evidence of physical injury to recover for mental anguish or emotional distress. Psychiatric treatment was not sufficient to establish physical injury.