The zone of danger rule is a doctrine that limits the liability of persons accused of negligent infliction of emotional distress ("NIED"). If the zone of danger rule applies, plaintiffs suing for NIED may only recover damages if they were (1) "placed in immediate risk of physical harm" by the defendant's negligence and (2) frightened by the risk of harm. Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Gottshall, 512 U.S. 532, 548 (1994). Depending on the state, the zone of danger rule may include other elements that limit the right of recovery even more.
See, e.g. Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Gottshall, 512 U.S. 532 (1994).