HICKMAN, Chief Justice.
The controlling question in this case is the right of borrowers to recover damages for mental anguish and physical injuries wilfully and wantonly inflicted on them by wrongful devices practiced by lenders for the purpose of collecting claimed balances due them on notes given by the borrowers. Another injury alleged was the loss of employment by Mrs. Duty. Without detailing the proceedings below, it is sufficient for the purposes of this opinion to state that the trial court held that petitioners' petition stated no cause of action for damages, and that the case was affirmed by the Court of Civil Appeals in a majority opinion.
In their petition petitioners, as plaintiffs in the trial court, alleged that the various defendants acting in conspiracy and individually conducted a course of harassment
It was further alleged that all of the above acts were wilful and were committed with knowledge that they could cause plaintiffs mental injury, would render them less capable of performing their work, and would cause them to suffer physical illness.
It was alleged that the foregoing course of conduct caused the plaintiffs to suffer, among others, the following injuries: Both plaintiffs developed a state of high nervousness, irritability, and inability to perform their work as well as they had previously performed it; they each developed severe headaches; Mrs. Duty's stomach was upset with nervous indigestion; they lost numerous hours of sleep; Mrs. Duty was discharged from her work at a cafe as a result of the excessive harassing attacks by defendants and as the result of her decline in ability to work; the credit rating of plaintiffs was destroyed; Mrs. Duty became unable to do her housework; and she lost weight which she could not afford to lose.
The majority opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals is based on the conclusion that the case is ruled by our decision in Harned v. E-Z Finance Company, 151 Tex. 641, 254 S.W.2d 81, and that the language of that opinion clearly indicates that a cause of action was not alleged in this case. Petitioners do not attack that decision or call upon us to reconsider the question there decided. It is their position that, properly interpreted, the opinion in that case is no authority for denying them recovery in this case. We are in accord with their position. What was held in that case was that damages cannot be recovered for mental anguish alone, but the question of whether such damages may be recovered when there is also physical injury, injury to property, or other elements of actual damages was not before the court. The opinion in that case reviews the leading decisions and the views of eminent text writers on this troublesome question, and there is no occasion for another review of them in this opinion. Among the cases reviewed was Clark v. Associated Retail Credit Men, 70 App.D.C. 183, 105 F.2d 62, 63, 65, a case upholding the recovery of damages for physical injuries growing out of mental distress from excessive efforts by a creditor to collect a claimed indebtedness. Our opinion quoted from the opinion in that case this sentence: "In the present case the shock which defendant intentionally inflicted not only risked, but actually caused, physical harm." We observed that under
Since the case has not been tried and we cannot know just what facts will be developed upon the trial, it would not be appropriate for us to enter into a discussion of the various allegations. Our holding is that petitioners have made sufficient allegations to entitle them to a trial of the case on its merits.
We have been furnished by a representative of the Retail Merchants' Association of Texas with an argument by amicus curiae in reply to the application for writ of error, in which the fear is expressed that a holding that a cause of action has been stated in this case would hamper the department stores, national banks and ethical professional men in the collection of obligations owing to them. The fear is not well founded. No such business concerns or ethical professional men will ever be guilty of such outrageous conduct as that described in the petition in this case. Besides, we do not hold that by reasonable efforts to collect usury a creditor runs the risk of liability for damages. A decision of the case before us does not require that we undertake to outline the limits to which such a creditor may go, but we do hold that resort to every cruel device which his cunning can invent in order to enforce collection when that course of conduct has the intended effect of causing great mental anguish to the debtor, resulting in physical injury and causing his loss of employment, renders the creditor liable to respond in damages.
The judgments of both courts below are reversed, and the cause is remanded.