The Leisha Pickering alienation of affection lawsuit is bringing attention to this little used cause of action. The theory is without question alive and well in Mississippi. In August 2008 the Mississippi Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pierce v. Cook, a case that involved claims for alienation of affection and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A Rankin County jury rendered a $1.5 million verdict for the plaintiff and the Supreme Court affirmed. The Court listed the elements of an alienation of affection claim as:

 

1. wrongful conduct of the Defendant;

2. loss of affection or consortium and

3. causal connection between the conduct and loss.

 

The plaintiff’s burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence–not a higher standard such as clear and convincing evidence.