Visitor Question

Suing ex-roommate for breach of contract and emotional distress?

Submitted By: Tiarra (Cleveland, OH, USA)

My roommate left in the middle of our lease, after three months. In addition, I had to pay the entire month’s rent and expenses by myself for the remaining lease (10 months). I was not prepared to do so and my income was not enough to cover the entire rent and utilities.

Not wanting an eviction to go onto my record, I felt as if I had no other choice but to pay for the remaining months on my lease. I had to quit school in order to get a second job, and I had to ask family members for help on the rent.

We are a lower-middle class family, so asking them for help on my rent on top of them having to pay their own expenses was very stressful on myself and my family. While having two full time jobs, I encountered tons of sleeplessness which led to anxiety issues and mostly depression.

I would verbally attack family members whenever I was not in a good mood and I also almost jeopardized relationships with my significant other and numerous friends. Specifically, I was at my peak one evening and became so annoyed and upset that I had an anxiety/panic attack.

I was rushed to the emergency room due to shortness of the breath and severe dizziness. The doctors determined the cause was not being able to get any sleep due to working a 1st shift and 3rd shift job, and the pressure of having to pay next month’s expenses on my own.

I am in the process of filing a case against my ex-roommate, but I was wondering if I can include emotional distress? And if so, how much can I ask for? Any info you can give about this would be much appreciated.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Tiarra,

From the facts you present, we will presume you have filed a case against your roommate in small claims court. In the State of Ohio, Small Claims Court jurisdiction (the maximum amount a plaintiff like yourself can sue for) is up to $3,000, exclusive of filing and court fees.

Fortunately for you, Ohio Small Claims Courts permit plaintiffs to sue for mental anguish, also referred to as emotional distress.

As long as the total amount of economic damages and emotional distress does not exceed $3,000, you my be able to get some justice for the wrong your ex-roommate perpetrated upon you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 3, 2014

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