Torts 7

  1. Privacy Torts : Appropriation
    • Tort: ∆ uses π's name/image for a commercial purpose
    • Exception: Newsworthiness
    • Note: π doesn't have to be a celebrity/public figure to have name/image appropriated
    • NY Distinction: Appropriation is the only privacy tort recognized by NY
  2. Privacy Torts : Instrusion
    • Tort: Invasion of π's seclusion, in a way objectionable to an average person
    • π's location: Reasonable expectation of privacy?
    • Note: Trespass to land is not required (e.g., intrusion can occur through wire-tapping off-site)
    • NY Distinction: Not recognized as a cause of action in NY
  3. Privacy Torts : False Light
    • Tort: ∆ makes a wide-spread dissemination of a major falsehood about π
    • Strict-Liability Standard: Even statements made in good faith (an honest mistake) are actionable, if π can prove that the statement is objectionable to an average person and that it is false—tortious intent is not required
    • Remedies: Emotional damages
    • NY Distinction: Not recognized as a tort in NY

    Note that to qualify as a "major falsehood," the statement need not be defamatory. The standard is whether it is false, and that it is objectionable to the average person—this requires some understanding of context in which the statement was made

    Note also that unlike the tort of defamation—where the ∆ need only tell at least one person other than the π—in a "false light" case, the ∆ must have made a wide-spread dissemination of the statement.
  4. Privacy Torts : Disclosure
    • Tort: Wide-spread dissemination of confidential information about π, that would be objectionable to the average person
    • Exception: Newsworthiness, i.e., legitimate public interest (broadly construed)
    • NY Distinction: Not recognized as a cause of action in NY

    To be treated as "confidential," the information must truly be confidential—i.e., π must have taken reasonable steps to ensure its secrecy (e.g., the gay activist who marches in parades would not have his sexual orientation treated as "confidential")
  5. Privacy Torts : Affirmative Defenses
    • Consent: Bars π's recovery for all 4 privacy torts
    • Absolute/qualified privileges: Bars recovery for false light and disclosure
Card Set
Torts 7
Torts 7 - Privacy Torts